Les Nabis (pronounced nah-BEE) were a group of Post-Impressionist avant-garde artists who set the pace for fine arts and graphic arts in France in the 1890s. Initially a group of friends interested in contemporary art and literature, most of them studied at the private art school of Rodolphe Julian (Académie Julian) in Paris in the late 1880s.
In 1890, they began to participate successfully in public exhibitions, while most of their artistic output remained in private hands or in the possession of the artists themselves. By 1896, the unity of the group had already begun to break: The Homage to Cézanne, painted by Maurice Denis in 1900, recollects memories of a time already gone, before even the term Nabis had been revealed to the public. Meanwhile, most members of the group—Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard—could stand, artistically, on their own. Only Paul Sérusier had problems to overcome—though it was his Talisman, painted at the advice of Paul Gauguin, that had revealed to them the way to go.
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