Jaques Villon Birds of Flight
16.5" x 22" wide # 41/75
Circa: 1958, original lithograph signed
Condition: Excellent Vintage Condition
Jacques Villon (July 31, 1875 – June 9, 1963)
At first, he was influenced by Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, but later he participated in the fauvist, Cubist, and abstract impressionist movements.
By 1906, Montmartre was a bustling community and Jacques Villon moved to Puteaux in the quiet outskirts of Paris. There, he began to devote more of his time to working in drypoint, an intaglio technique that creates dark, velvety lines that stand out against the white of the paper. During this time he worked closely to develop his technique with other important printmakers such as Manuel Robbe.
His isolation from the vibrant art community in Montmartre, together with his modest nature, ensured that he and his artwork remained obscure for a number of years.
In 1913, Villon created seven large drypoints in which forms break into shaded pyramidal planes. That year, he exhibited at the Armory Show in New York City, helping introduce European modern art to the United States. His works proved popular and all his art sold. From there, his reputation expanded so that by the 1930s he was better known in the United States than in Europe.
In 1938 he was named Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honor. In 1947 he was promoted to Officier (Officer) of the Legion of Honor. In 1950, Villon received the Carnegie Prize, the highest award for painting in the world, and in 1954 he was made a Commandeur (Commander) of the Legion of Honor. The following year he was commissioned to design stained-glass windows for the cathedral at Metz, France. In 1956 he was awarded the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale exhibition.
Among Villon's greatest achievements as a printmaker was his creation of a purely graphic language for cubism – an accomplishment that no other printmaker, including his fellow cubists Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque, could claim.
Villon died in his studio at Puteaux.
Many important museums include works by Villon in their collections, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, New York City; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia); Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; and Musée Jenisch (Vevey, Switzerland) and more, including some leading private collections as well.