Le Bibliophile, Félix Edouard Vallotton, 1911

☛ “Le Bibliophile” by Félix Edouard Vallotton, woodcut, 8.87 x 7 in. (22,5 x 17,8 cm.), 1911. Image retrieved from Zeno.org.

This image illustrates the cover of the French translation of Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night (La Bibliothèque, la nuit, trans. Christine Le Boeuf, Paris: Actes Sud). Something in this illustration –maybe the heavy black-and-white contrast– strongly reminds me of the drawings of French comics artist Jacques Tardi.

In the collection of Jean Bonna, there is what appears to be a preparatory drawing for this woodcut:

“Le Bibliophile” by Félix Édouard Vallotton, 1911, lead pencil, brush and China ink on white vellum, 32,5 x 25,5 cm. Collection of Jean Bonna, Genève. ©Patrick Goetelen. Information and image retrieved from Connaissance des Arts.
“Le Bibliophile” by Félix Édouard Vallotton, 1911, lead pencil, brush and China ink on white vellum, 32,5 x 25,5 cm. Collection of Jean Bonna, Genève. ©Patrick Goetelen. Information and image retrieved from Connaissance des Arts.

For more information about the life and work of Félix Edouard Vallotton (1865-1925), one can explore the Fondation Félix Vallotton (in French). Below is a photo of the artist taken in 1899. He is on the far right:

From left to right: Ker-Xavier Roussel (1867-1944), Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), Romain Coolus (1868-1952), Felix Vallotton (1865-1925), unknown photographer, 1899. Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
From left to right: Ker-Xavier Roussel (1867-1944), Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), Romain Coolus (1868-1952), Felix Vallotton (1865-1925), unknown photographer, 1899. Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
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