Image rights: David Barnett Gallery
About Jacques Villon
The eldest brother of Marcel Duchamp, caricaturist, illustrator, and painter Jacques Villon traded in his given name (Gaston Emile Duchamp) in homage to Alphonse Daudet’s novel Jack (1876) the poet François Villon. Initially noted for humous political cartoons, he soon turned to more serious "Belle Époque" style of printmaking, influenced by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Eventually, he committed himself to painting, which he saw as "a method of prospecting, a manner of expression." As his style developed, he forged a unique blend of flat, geometric Cubist forms and a luminous palette worthy of the Impressionists. Villon was among the French artists who flirted with pure abstraction in the 1920s, producing compositions based on color theory. Ultimately however, he returned to painting portraits and landscapes, and would continue contributing illustrations and original prints to publications.