Arts Everyday Living: Van Gogh and Vallotton–Two Artists, Two Masterpieces, A Choice for You?

Felix Vallotton, Woman Reading, 1906, oil on canvas, Private Collection?


Some 20 years separate these two works of art, demonstrating the varying approaches of Dutch legend Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) and Swiss-French artist Felix Vallotton (1865-1925) to a universal theme.  Do you have a preference?  Or does each painting have its own unique beauty and power? Consider the elements of style including color, form, light, texture and treatment of space.

What about the subject?  We know the identity of Van Gogh’s sitter, Madame Ginoux, who was the wife of the owner of a cafe in Arles, France where the artist created L’Arlesienne. I haven’t been able to discover who Vallotton’s model is for Woman Reading but she resembles his spouse Gabrielle. How would you compare each woman’s process of reading?  And how does she make you feel?

And if you had the opportunity to welcome one into your home, which one would you choose?


Vincent van Gogh, L’Arlesienne, 1888, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York



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