Lot 3603* - A203 Prints & Multiples - Thursday, 01. December 2022, 10.00 AM
This woodcut appeared in "L'Éstampe originale", published by the "Journal des artistes", 1894.
Catalogue raisonné: Vallotton/Goerg, no. 148a.
"What characterises my work is the will to express the form, the contour, the lines and volumes; the colours are only an adjuvant." Félix Vallotton
At the turn of the 20th century, the culture and economy of Japan were becoming increasingly important in the Western world.
Félix Vallotton saw a form of liberation in Japanese woodblock prints from the hitherto prevailing dogma of realism in Western printmaking. The influence of Japanese woodcuts reinforced the accuracy of his depictions, his preference for flatness, his rejection of perspective and his complete concentration on the subject depicted. He left no room for chance and cut regular, sharp, and clean lines into the wood.
From 1891 he produced several series of his woodcuts, made on commission for magazines or publishers. The woodcuts offered here, “Le Bain” from 1894 and “Le Confiant” (Los 3606) from 1895, date from the most important years, during which Vallotton defined the pictorial language of his graphic work. With accuracy, warmth, humour, and irony, he drew scenes based on real life. His main themes were portraits, alpine landscapes, street scenes, the life of the bourgeoisie, and interior scenes.
“Le Bain” depicts the ambience of an everyday intimate bathing scene. The artist allows us a glimpse behind the scenes; a lady, presumably of the Parisian bourgeoisie, cautiously rises from the bathtub. Her maid waits respectfully with a large light-coloured towel on her arm. In “Le Confiant” there is an equally intimate scene between two people, in which one confides in the other, as the title tells us. In these two works, Vallotton's attention to detail is very striking. With the finest of lines, he delineates shapes and surfaces. He draws the wallpaper in the bathroom, the plant, or the floral pattern of the sofa with a deft, minimalist, Japanese finesse.
In his woodcuts, Vallotton combined reality and the decorative in a simple and minimalist manner like no other artist of his time.
CHF 35 000 / 45 000 | (€ 36 080 / 46 390)
Sold for CHF 43 000 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.