Félix Vallotton review, Royal Academy: a distinctive and distinctly odd bohemian

Portrait de Madame GabrIelle Vallotton, 1905 (detail)
Portrait de Madame GabrIelle Vallotton, 1905 (detail) Credit: Felix Vallotton/Mairie de Bordeaux/F. Devel

Félix Vallotton is a name that will be familiar to anyone conversant with the heady world of the Post-Impressionists: one of many brilliant young artists milling around the cafes and studios of fin-de-siècle Paris. Yet few of us could bring even one of his paintings to mind. That looks set to change, however, with this revelatory exhibition, which views the Swiss-born painter as one of the most distinctive of that extraordinary time – and one of the oddest of any era.

Born in Lausanne in 1865, Vallotton moved to Paris at 16, studying at the influential Academie Julian alongside Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, with whom he formed the Nabis – The Prophets – a group of radical young painters...

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