Pierre Bonnard was the leader of a group of Post-Impressionist painters who called themselves the Nabis, from the Hebrew word meaning ‘prophet’. Bonnard, Vuillard, Roussel, and Denis, the most distinguished of the Nabis, revolutionised the spirit of decorative techniques during one of the richest periods in the history of French painting. Influenced by Odilon Redon and Puvis de Chavannes, by popular imagery and Japanese etchings, this Post-Impressionist group was above all a close circle of friends who shared the same cultural background and interests. An increasing individualism in their art often threatened the group’s unity and although tied together by a common philosophy their work clearly diverged. This publication lets us compare and put into perspective the artists within this fascinating group.
The works presented in this collection offer a palette of extraordinary poetic expressions: candid in Bonnard, ornamental and mysterious in Vuillard, gently dream-like in Denis, grim and almost bitter in Vallotton, the author shares with us the lives of these artists to the very source of their creative gifts.
Albert Kostenevitch is a history of art graduate from Irkutsk State University in Russia and is attached to The State Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg. He is one of the great specialists on the Fauves and the Nabis.
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