Maurice Denis museum, internationally renowned houses an outstanding collection of Symbolist works, Nabis or Pont-Aven group with artists such as Gauguin, Bonnard, Denis, Vuillard, Roussel, Bernard, Ranson …
Who are the Nabis?
At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the artists of the Nabis (“prophets” or “inspired by God” in Hebrew) are part of a vanguard that is the origins of modern art.
Maurice Denis, Sérusier, Bonnard, Vuillard, Ranson … and their friends were marked by the lesson given by Paul Gauguin in Pont-Aven. The picture painted by Sérusier under his leadership in 1888 is their Talisman (Landscape in the Bois d’Amour, Paris, Musée d’Orsay).
Les Nabis does not seek to reflect in their works an observed reality. For them, paint is transposing the nature and give a plastic and colorful equivalent to sensations, emotions or moods. Serving the Symbolist art, they choose the synthesis and stylization of forms. Subjective colors they use are laid in flat areas separated by dark circles. Their artistic production is also characterized by a sense of decor, by the use of arabesques and often Japanese style inspiration.
Eager to integrate art into everyday life, these artists are also creators of ceramics, stained glass, furniture, posters, stage sets … They are also closely related to literary and musical movements of their time. During fifteen years, between 1888 and 1903, the Nabis will form, with their openness and their wealth of inspiration, a particularly innovative movement.
The Maurice Denis museum and its collections
The museum is the former home of artist Maurice Denis, painter and theoretician of the Nabi movement, which lived in this property from 1914 until his death (1870 – 1943).
The initial funding of the museum is the result of exceptional donation made in 1976 by the family of Maurice Denis. Since then, the collections were enriched by many donations and acquisitions of works of Symbolist and Nabis artists. Are thus presented works of painters who have marked the history of modern art: Gauguin, Sérusier, Vallotton, Bonnard, Vuillard, Verkade, Ranson, Lacombe, Redon, Mucha, Anquetin …
Composed largely of paintings, the collections also include graphic works, sculptures and pieces of furniture and art objects: fans, screens, stained glass … All these elements to capture the will of the Nabis artists to integrate art in everyday life.
Watch this great video about the museum.
Cédric – Citibreak