The Laundress, Blue Room
Félix Vallotton ( Swiss, active in France, 1865 - 1925 )
Working among the artist group called the Nabis (taken from the Hebrew work for prophet), who aspired to a spiritual aesthetic and an ornamental style, Vallotton developed his own tendency to work in a very decorative reductive style, manipulating flat areas of saturated colors and striking contrasts of undifferentiated fields and broad sweeps of patterns. This mysterious and poetic painting is exemplary of Vallotton's Nabi period. There is an intense play between luminescent expanses and dark, dramatic shadows. This work specifically relates to paintings by other Nabi artists in the Dallas Museum of Art—Roussel, Serusier, and particularly Vuillard and Bonnnard, whose paintings also depict intimate interiors such as this one.