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Medium Well Done: 8 Crayons, oil pastels, and more
Professional painters have long used brushes to apply paint for their finished work, but many used hand-held sticks of pigment only when sketching in preparation. Charcoal was widely used at first, with metal wire in silverpoint an alternative. In the sixteenth century, large deposits of graphite were discovered in... Read more
Paintings of Félix Vallotton: 4 War and the Land
At the outbreak of war in 1914, the former Nabi painter and print-maker Félix Vallotton (1865–1925) had turned to painting unusual landscapes showing transient atmospheric effects like fog, with the simplification of a print. He volunteered for the army, although at this time he was almost fifty and was... Read more
Paintings of Félix Vallotton 2 Mysterious Interiors
In 1900, the Swiss painter and print-maker Félix Vallotton (1865–1925) was granted French citizenship. He had cut back on his prints to paint more, and the paintings that he made were no longer Nabi, but explored themes and ideas which were to be influential later in the twentieth century.... Read more
Paintings of Félix Vallotton 1 The Foreign Nabi
Continuing my series looking at Les Nabis, I turn next to Félix Vallotton (1865–1925), a painter and print-maker whose work I thought I knew until I started to research what was going to be just one or two articles. I then realised that to do him any justice at... Read more
Medium Well Done: 3 Glue Tempera (distemper)
At some stage in the dim and distant past, our ancestors discovered that processing some natural products created glues. The raw materials either came from boiling animal bones, hide, and other offal, or from natural exudates of plants. In turn, these came to be used as the binder for... Read more
The beautiful icons of Maurice Denis 2
By the start of the twentieth century, the former Nabi artist Maurice Denis (1870–1943) was firmly in the avant garde, his paintings evolving away from his earlier Nabi style, and making series of prints. He had started serious print-making around 1890, and had made woodblocks for music by Debussy.... Read more
The beautiful icons of Maurice Denis 1
Maurice Denis (1870–1943) was another of the founding members of the Nabis, and the youngest. To put his career into context, he was still an infant of three when the Impressionists held their first exhibition in Paris, and a member of the next and post-Impressionist generation. A Norman by... Read more
Le Nabi Zouave: Édouard Vuillard 2
In the first of these two articles looking at the career and paintings of Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940), I looked at his Nabi paintings up to the start of the twentieth century, by which time his style was already undergoing change. Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940), Under the Trees of the Red... Read more
Le Nabi Zouave: Édouard Vuillard 1
Following my earlier long series on the paintings of Pierre Bonnard, and a brief look at those of Ker-Xavier Roussel, I seem to have accidentally started to look at the Nabis. Continuing this trend, this article and the next provide a short account of Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940), known to... Read more
A Peculiar Beauty: the paintings of Ker-Xavier Roussel 2
Although the Nabis as a group had effectively dissolved well before 1910, several of its former members remained close friends. Their styles had changed, with higher chroma resulting from the influence of the Fauves and their love for painting in the Midi, the south of France. Among them, Ker-Xavier... Read more