Hermitage Amsterdam, 14 September 2013 – 28 February 2014
Nabis (prophet), group of young French artists from the late 19th and early 20th century. Leaders were Paul Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard and Maurice Denis. The Nabis emphasized colour and composition.
Paris around 1900
Paris was the center of art in Europe. Exhibitions everywhere, artists exhibited their paintings at salons and there was a great demand for art. The avant-garde sizes in the early 20th century.
Art was in that time in flux. France was more an art supply country. Art painters used canvas in standard sizes and paint from ready made tubes.
Artists in that time preferred the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (the Salon) to show their artwork. Radical artworks were not to be found at the Salon.
In 1895 the Nabis artists had their first exhibition there. Artists as Félix Vallotton and Maurice Denis. In 1901, Maurice Denis exhibited his painting Hommage à Cézanne.
But the modern artists wanted to exhibit their work in a modem atmosphere, the Salon des Indépendants. The modern artists were Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton.
Gauguin used unmixed colours. For Denis and Bonnard, this was an important point of view. Denis said about this principle: it is essential to have a flat surface with colours in a particular arrangement.
Their artwork has non perspective, unmixed colours and a bright palette.
Denis and Bonnard painted wall panels for the collector Ivan Morozov (1871–1921). These artworks are the highlights of exhibition, Gauguin, Bonnard, Denis: A Russian Taste for French Art.
Other artists shown in this exhibition are Vuillard, Roussel and Vallotton.
The Hermitage Amsterdam is a museum and has an agreement with the Russia to produce exhibitions together with the Hermitage St Petersburg.
There is a special relationship between Russia and The Netherlands.