Felix Edouard Vallotton (1865-1925) was a Swiss painter and printmaker. During the 1890s he belonged to the group of artists known as Les Nabis (the prophets). This circle of young, avant-garde artists embarked on a new path whose highly-decorative style of art was influenced by Gauguin and Japanese prints. He was an important figure in the development of the modern woodcut.
Vallotton attended the academy of art in Lausanne and moved to Paris in 1882 in order to continue his studies as a portrait painter. However, he has chiefly won international renown with his remarkable black-and-white woodcuts, which are unparalleled in style, technique and mood. An underlying tension or threat is always present in these works, although they also incorporate humorous elements that often harbour social criticism.
As a painter Vallotton developed a highly personal style, drawing his inspiration from Japanese print art, the work of the Neoclassical French master Ingres and photography. His style is characterised by a smooth finish, a cool atmosphere and a sophisticated use of colour.