Pierre Bonnard was the leader of the group of post-impressionist painters who called themselves “the Nabis”, from the Hebrew word for “prophet”. Influenced by Odilon Redon, Puvis de Chavannes, popular imagery, and Japanese woodblock printing, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton and Denis (to name the most prominent members) revolutionised the spirit of decorative technique during one of the richest periods in French painting. Although the increasing individualism of their works often threatened to weaken their unity, the Nabis were above all a group of close friends. The artwork presented in this book − varying between Bonnard’s guilelessness, Vuillard’s ornamental and mysterious works, Denis’s soft languor and Vallotton’s almost bitter roughness − plunges us into the deep source of their creative talents.
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This book is an enjoyable survey of a group of artists working at the turn of the 20th century in France who went off in various highly individual and creative artistic directions. I enjoyed learning more about these less well known painters who nevertheless have significantly influenced modern art.