Born in Damville. Normandy, Villon and his siblings would become a remarkable artistic family, all going on to make important contributions to 20th century art. He began his artistic training under his grandfather Emile Frédéric Nicolle, a shipbroker and artist, while still a lycée student in Rouen. Under Nicolle, Villon learned the art of engraving and printmaking and in 1894 he moved to Paris and began studying law at the University of Paris. However he soon lost interest in legal studies, opting to spend his time submitting drawings to various magazines and newspapers and in 1895 he began at the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Villon’s work is largely characterized as graphic media, contributing drawings to illustrated papers and making color prints and posters. In 1911, he founded the Puteaux group with Marcel Duchamp, a collective of Cubist artists, and helped mount the Salon de la Section d’Or. Villon’s work was popular across the United States and Europe and he received honors at a number of international exhibitions, including the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale in 1956.