La Modiste


Felix Vallotton (1865-1925) woodcut, La Modiste, signed in pencil lower right margin, 1894. Reference: Maxime Vallotton and Charles Georg 138a (of a-d).  On a greenish tan wove paper, in good condition (apart from several repaired tears and nicks at margin edges and upper corners, a tiny pinhole lower left image), archival mounting, wide margins, 7 1/4 x 9, the sheet 11 3/8 x 13 1/4 inches.

A fine impression of this Fin de Siecle icon.  From the signed edition of about 60; there were also some (35) posthumous impressions made, then the plate was destroyed.

Vallotton was of course known as a foremost Nabi painter, and a social critic as well.  But perhaps his most notable contribution was through his woodcuts, all of which were done in the period of about 7 years, from age 26 to 33 (1891-98).  In La Modiste, he satirizes the middle class shopping, while showing the design line and shapes, with their limited planar quality, that anticipate much of modernism including the Art Nouveau movement.  Yet shortly after this period Vallotton married into a rich art dealer’s family – and he gave up the critical printmaking of his “youth.”