Oil on board
Unframed: 23.8 x 18.9 cm (9 3/8 x 7 7/16 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.107
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
As reflected in the two-dimensionality and color blocking in this painting, Denis believed a painting was "a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order."
A leader of the group known as Nabis (Hebrew for “Prophets”), Maurice Denis rejected naturalism and materialism in favor of expressing idealistic, spiritual emotions. He wrote: “Art is no longer a visual sensation that we gather, like a photograph, as it were, of nature. No, it is a creation of our spirit, for which nature is only the occasion.” Deeply religious, Denis sought to convey strong emotion through intense colors and powerfully condensed forms, thereby achieving a new union of modern and sacred art.
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