Thursday, January 10, 2008

Paul Ranson

Today’s post focuses on another of the Nabis, Paul Ranson. They all seem to be named Paul, huh? Paul Serusier and his inspiration, Paul Gauguin, and now Paul Ranson. There are plenty of others who are not named Paul, but I particularly liked Ranson’s Nabi Landscape, shown below. So today, Paul Ranson.
Ranson enjoyed a short life, from 1864 to 1909. Even as a child he enjoyed painting and his parents encouraged him to create art. He did not begin his education at Academie Julian, but it was there that he met Paul Serusier who introduced him to the new artistic movement of the Nabis.

Paul Ranson was interested, like the other Nabis, in symbolism, philosophy, and the decorative arts. He even designed tapestries, some of which were made by his wife. He especially liked to paint images of fantasy rather than those observed in nature. The main thing Ranson didn’t like about Impressionism was that (he believed) the artists chose random, unimportant subjects to portray and then did so without adding anything from their own minds.

Ranson played a central role in unifying the Nabis; he held weekly meetings in his home and wrote plays that the Nabis performed for writers and philosophers. Still, when Gauguin left for Tahiti, as you read yesterday, the Nabis gradually disbanded. Ranson continued painting in the Nabi style.

In 1908 he opened a school to teach the style and philosophy of the Nabis. When he died in 1909 his wife took over the school and other Nabis taught as they had the time and the desire.

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Peter said...

Happy to see you talk further about this movement. Just also to say that when you look for "Nabis, Gauguin..." in Google, your site turns up. You are now a reference!

Jessica said...

That's so exciting! Thanks for the heads-up. Glad to see you're back, Peter.