Nabis

DEFINITION

A group of young Parisian artists who exhibited together from 1891 to 1899 and took their name from the Hebrew word for "prophets". Leaders were Paul Serusier, Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Ranson and Maurice Denis, and their leading influence was Paul Gauguin. The underlying doctrine was distortions of colour, composition and subjects so that these elements reflected the artist&#39;s own perceptions and not necessarily reality. Applied to both easel painting and the decorative arts, Nabis artwork was a precursor to "art nouveau". The last exhibition in 1899 was held at Durand-Ruel Gallery. "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art"<br><br> From the Hebrew word for "prophet." A group of French painters active in the 1890s who worked in a subjective, sometimes mystical style, stressing flat areas of color and pattern. Bonnard and Vuillard were members.<br><br>An avant-garde group of French painters and poets, active 1888-99, who were persuaded by the advice Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) gave Paul Serusier (French, 1863-1927) in 1888 at Pont-Aven to reject naturalistic representation, and instead, paint in flat areas of pure color. Also influenced by Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916) and other members of the Symbolist movement, the Nabis felt that a painting should not imitate reality but parallel nature, creating a world unto itself. They stressed the imortance of subjective and sometimes mystical perceptions. Along with painting, they worked in theater design, book illustration, posters and stained glass, and were to various extents, indebted to contemporary Japanese prints. Pi?rre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947) and Edouard Vuillard (French, 1868-1940) were probably the best painters of the group and eventually reverted to a modified style known as Intimisme. Other members included Aristide Maillol (French, 1861-1944), Maurice Denis (French, 1870-1943), Paul Ranson (French, 1864-1909), Ker-Xavier Roussel (French, 1867-1944), F?lix Vallatton (French, 1865-1925), Henri-Gabriel Ibels (French, 1867-1936), Jozsef Rippl-Ronai (French, 1867-1944), and S?rusier.It was S?rusier who suggested the name Nabis, from the Hebrew word Nebiim, meaning "prophets."(pr. NAH-bee)Examples:Paul S?rusier (French, 1863-1927), The Talisman, 1888, oil on wood panel (cigar box lid), 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (27 x 21.5 cm), Mus?e d&#39;Orsay, Paris. This painting is generally considered the first Nabis work.Paul S?rusier (French, 1863-1927), Roof Tops in Paris, c. 1891, oil on canvas, 15 x 18 inches (38.0 x 45.5 cm), Tate Gallery, London.Quote: "There were apples painted in pale green and bright red on a ground of emerald green leaves. It is all color. One might say it was a C?zanne." Maurice Denis (1870-1943), French painter, on discovering a fragment of a frieze by Tintoretto at the Scuola di san Rocco in 1905.

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