Félix Vallotton was associated with the Nabis art movement in Paris. They are said to have paved the way for the abstract art movement, but that might be too perjorative a suggestion. I think that Vallotton paved the way for the great Swiss graphic designers and illustrators who followed him a few years later. These woodcuts are great illustrations as well as fine art.
Swiss by birth and French by adoption, Félix Vallotton was born in Lausanne, in the French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud, 28 December 1865 and left for Paris at the age of 17 to attend the famous Académie Julian, where he and many of his fellow students achieved fame in the post-impressionist art world.
Before he reached the age of 30, he had made a name for himself in Paris and the world. His woodcuts were considered extremely modern for his time, and several are reproduced herewith which appeared in the November 1900 issue of The Century magazine, noted for its contemporary look. These were done in 1899 when Vallotton was 34. In the following years he devoted himself to painting.
In his lifetime of only 60 years he managed to produce 200 engravings, countless drawings, 1700 paintings, and a few sculptures. He also wrote three novels, several plays, essays and art criticism as well.
Book jacket for "Strolls through Paris--Crowds, Physiology of the Street," 1896. Click on image to enlarge.
The following is a footnote which appeared in the article published in The Century for November 1900
IN THE CROWD AT THE PARIS EXPOSITION
with woodcuts drawn and engraved by F. Vallotton
The wood-engraving of M. Vallotton did not come to the notice of the English and American public until some time after that of Mr. Nicholson [Sir William Nicholson], the English artist, which has justly been much admired. As a matter of fact, M. Vallotton's had precedence. Mr. Nicholson, if we are correctly informed, began to engrave on wood about 1893-94, and did not publish till near the end of 1895, at which time M. Vallotton had identified himself in France with this special style of work. . . . The accompanying examples, which were made for THE CENTURY, are reproduced from the engraver's proofs. Click on images to enlarge them. The Century Magazine began publication in 1881, as a successor to Scribner's Monthly Magazine. It ceased publication in 1930.