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rediscovering an artist Swiss painter Félix Vallotton showcased in London

Its a good year for the work of the Swiss painter Félix Vallotton (1865-1925). Currently on display at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, his paintings and prints are also to be exhibited at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York later this year.

Though London is a city which Swiss artist Félix Vallotton often visited, his paintings had not been exhibited there since 1976. This has now been changed, as the Royal Academy of Arts in London currently looks back at his work in an exhibition of more than 80 paintings and prints called “Félix Vallotton, Painter of Disquietexternal link”.

“I think Vallotton's painting is not done to seduce – it is not decorative and it requires a bit of effort,” Katia Poletti, curator for the Félix Valloton Foundation, told Swiss public television RTS. “You have to stop in front of a painting and look at it for a while to understand what is going on. There is often a lot of tension in his work, which can be disturbing and even upset some people.”

Born in Lausanne in 1865, Felix Vallotton was first noticed as a portrait painter. But it was mainly in the field of wood engraving that he gained international recognition in 1890. Then, at the turn of the century, after his marriage to the daughter of a great art dealer, he devoted himself mainly to painting. 

“He belonged to the most prestigious artists’ societies, participated in all the major international exhibitions, earned the highest esteem of his students and went on to become a reference for a whole new generation of painters,” says the website of the Vallotton Foundationexternal link.

The exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts runs until September 29. It will then move to the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from October 29 to January 26.

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SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

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