Maurice Denis, like Paul Ranson, joined the Nabis when he saw Paul Serusier’s Talisman. He believed in all the things the Nabis stood for. Denis was an active member of the movement and published an article, Art Et Critique, in which he told of the Nabis beliefs.
Like the other Nabis, he was interested in symbolism, religious thought, and the decorative arts. He thought it was of particular importance that an artist chose the right subject and he was drawn to the bold colors of the Nabis. Below if a painting, Sunlight in the Terrace, in which Denis uses the bold colors of the Nabis in a similar way as Serusier did in his Talisman.
Denis was particularly interested in religious subjects. When you consider his body of work, this interest is clear. Below is just one example of a painting of a religious subject, Holy Women Near the Tomb.
Besides paintings, Denis illustrated books and musical scores, designed carpets and planned stained-glass windows. He decorated ceramics and even painted a mural on the ceiling of French composer, Chausson’s home.
Denis’ popularity grew ever greater and he received many commissions. Later in his life, he painted more ceiling murals, many in prestigious locations. These included murals at the Theater des Champs-Elysees, the Church of St. Paul in Geneva, and the Petit Palais in Paris.
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