A woman stands in the forest, surrounded by plants and trees. The tall, vertically arranged canvas has been created in an extremely decorative composition that fully represents the characteristics of its Nabis painter Ranson. The four sides of the canvas are framed by decorative borders reminiscent of tapestries, and it can be imagined that this painting was originally a preparatory work for a tapestry project. The Nabis painters were highly conscious of the planar nature of paintings, and the inherent decorativeness of such planar images, and they considered medieval period and later tapestries to be one of the best models in the creation of their works.Digitalis (foxglove), the plant with purplish red bell-shaped blossoms, grows in large form across the foreground. This plant's leaves had been known since antiquity as a tonic for the heart. The twining movement of this plant burgeoning with life is a realization of the Nabis' decorative aesthetic. On the one hand, as a result of the Nabis' study of the decorative arts both of Japan and of Europe's medieval period, they used a large number of planar elements and curved lines which eventually resulted in the Art Nouveau style. On the other hand, they also created a symbolic type of expression intimately linked to the fin-de-siècle symbolism of the late 19th century. The fragrance of the blossom sniffed by the woman in the painting, along with its pollen and plant-life mysteries, is somehow intimately linked to the life force within the woman herself.In 1895 the Maison de l'Art Nouveau of Siegfried Bing was set up on rue de Provence in Paris. Ranson's wall mural series of seven works for the dining room were created as part of the refitting and redecoration of the shop. A major work from that series, Seven Women Harvesting, was acquired by the Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art in 1992. Ranson also created vitraux and tapestries. It was during this Maison de l'Art Nouveau period that Ranson's inclination towards decorative arts, particularly tapestries, increased and he became involved in tapestry production in competition with his friends Maillol and Rippl-Ronai. Thus said, however, there are only some ten extant tapestries by Ranson remaining today, and the majority of his tapestry works remain solely in cartoon form. It is possible that this work is related to a tapestry project that was never actually realized. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 106)


  • Title: Digitales
  • Date Created: 1899
  • Location Created: France
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed and dated lower right: P. Ranson 99.
  • Provenance: Sale, Drouot, 7 June 1909, Mes. Lair et Dubreuil, sale posthume de Paul Ranson, n.o. 66, titre 《Les Digitales》, 80frs., Paris; sale, hôtel des ventes, 25 October 1987, 《Digitales ou Jeune femme dans un jardin》, Enghien; New York, collection Barry Friedman, 1987; Galerie Armonie, 1989, Nantes; sale Christie's 3 April 1990, Impressionist and Modern Paintings and Sculptures, no. 289 a. p. 79, London; Galerie Ergastère, Paris.
  • Physical Dimensions: w700 x h1500 mm
  • Painter: Paul Ranson
  • Object title (Japanese): ジギタリス
  • Object notes (Japanese): 森の中に、草木や木々に囲まれて立つ女性。縦長のカンヴァスに、きわめて装飾的な構図で描き出された画面は、ナビ派の画家としてのランソンの芸術の特徴をよく表している。画面の四周にはタピスリーの飾り縁のような枠取りがあり、この作品がタピスリーの下絵として制作されたことを想像させる。絵画自身がもつ平面的特性とそれにともなう装飾性を強く意識したナビ派の画家たちにとって、中世以来のタピスリー芸術は最も学ぶべき手本のひとつであった。画面前景に大きく描かれた、赤紫色の釣鐘状の花をもつゴマノハグサ科の植物ジギタリス(キツネノテブクロ)は、その葉が強心剤として古くから用いられた薬草である。ここでは生命溢れる植物の繁茂を通して、ナビ派の装飾的美学が実現されている。それは、一方では中世や日本の装飾美術を学んだ結果としての平面や曲線の多用としてアール・ヌーヴォーの様式に結びつき、他方では世紀末の象徴主義に密接に由来するシンボリックな隠喩的表現となって現れている。画面の女性の嗅ぐ花の香りと受粉、生殖の神秘は、彼女自身に内在する生命の連鎖との照応関係にあるのだ。1895年、パリ、プロヴァンス街のジークフリート・ビングの店「メゾン・ド・ラール・ヌーヴォー」が改装、装飾されるにあたって、ランソンは食堂の壁画連作7点と共に(その中の大作1点《収穫する7人の女性》は平成4年以来新潟県立近代美術館所蔵)、ヴィトローやタピスリーも制作している。ランソンの装飾芸術、とりわけタピスリー芸術への傾倒はこの頃より加速し、僚友のマイヨールやリップル¬=ロナイなどと競うようにタピスリーのプロジェクトに手を染めた。とはいえ、現在まで残るランソンの実現された夕ピスリーは僅か10点ほどにすぎず、大部分はカルトンのみが残されている。この作品もそうした実現されなかったタピスリー想想に関連する作品のひとつであろうか。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 106)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): ランソン、ポール
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Détrempe on canvas

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