This large-format gouache served Maurice Denis as a preliminary drawing and tracing for his famous programmatic painting Homage to Cézanne (Musée d’Orsay, Paris), which shows in retrospect the members, companions, and models of the Nabis, and which was painted shortly before the dissolution of this Paris group of artists. In the shop of art dealer Ambroise Vollard, Odilon Redon, venerated by the Symbolists, discusses Paul Cézanne’s Still Life with Bowl of Fruit together with Edouard Vuillard, the art critic André Mellerio, Vollard and Denis, as well as Paul Sérusier, Paul Ranson, Kerr-Xavier Roussel, Pierre Bonnard, and Denis’s wife, Marthe (from left to right). Cézanne had exerted a considerable influence on the Nabis in their endeavor to portray space in the surface, beyond the bounds of perspective. Since his still life was in the possession of Paul Gauguin in 1897, Denis also addressed him indirectly as a further leading figure of the Nabis in this gouache. It was, after all, Gauguin’s influence on Paul Sérusier that led to the founding of the Nabis in 1888. Unlike this Bremen preliminary drawing, the Paris painting features a painting by Gauguin on the back wall of Vollard’s gallery.


  • Title: Homage to Cézanne
  • Creator: Maurice Denis
  • Date Created: c. 1899/1900
  • Physical Dimensions: 178.0 x 240.0 cm
  • Type: painting
  • Rights: Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen
  • Medium: Gouache on pieces of paper varying in size and glued together on canvas

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