Fondation Félix Vallotton
Research on the life and work of the Franco-Swiss painter Félix Vallotton
A major artist
Founded in Lausanne in 1998, the Fondation Félix Vallotton is a Centre of Excellence in the study of the life and works of the painter, engraver, illustrator, writer and art critic Félix Vallotton (1865–1925). One of his generation’s most important artists, born Swiss in Lausanne and naturalized French in 1900, he created a body of work that belongs to the artistic heritage of both countries, as well as to the legacy of European art. Thanks to the renewal he instilled into woodcutting in the 1890s, he gained recognition in Paris’s artistic and literary circles before becoming a book and press illustrator much sought-after in France and abroad. The turn of the century marked a career change that saw him dedicate himself almost exclusively to his first vocation: painting. Fiercely independent, he developed over a few years a distinctive style that makes his works instantly identifiable. It is characterised by slick paint coating, sharp colours and daring framing.
Scientific study of the artist
The Fondation Félix Vallotton holds the artist’s archives, but has no exhibition space. Except for a single painting, its collections consist mainly of papers. They include drawings and sketches, sketch and notebooks, manuscripts, photographs and various bibliographical documents. Based on its archives and its fund of knowledge, the Fondation develops scientific research projects that result in publications. Two reference works have already been published: in 2005 the catalogue raisonné Félix Vallotton. L’œuvre peint, and in 2012 Félix Vallotton. Critique d’art. Its new project, entitled Félix Vallotton illustrateur, carried out in partnership with the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) and supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), is an online catalogue raisonné of Vallotton’s book and press illustrations. The mcb-a has already planned an exhibition that will celebrate the completion of this project of international scope. The Fondation contributes in addition to curating exhibitions such as Félix Vallotton. Fire beneath the Ice, that was shown in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo in 2013–2014 and attracted nearly one million visitors.
Housing the Fondation within the mcb-a, which holds the world’s largest collection of works by the artist — 500 pieces including 53 paintings, 300 engravings and 200 drawings — will lead to creating an unequalled center of expertise on Félix Vallotton and his work.
Fondation Félix Vallotton
Year founded: 1998
President: Yves Noël
Curator: Katia Poletti
Collection: Archives of the artist
Focus: Developing scientific research projects on the artist