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Cover for Private Lives

Private Lives

Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris, 1889-1900

Mary Weaver Chapin, Heather Lemonedes Brown, Francesca Berry (Contributions by), Francesca Brittan (Contributions by), Kathleen Kete (Contributions by), Saskia Ooms (Contributions by)


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Four “prophets” of art whose luminous work unfolds the mysteries of domestic life

In 1889, avant-garde artists in Paris formed a brotherhood to promote a radical new direction in art. Adopting the name Nabis—Hebrew for “prophets”—they aimed to capture subjective experience and emotion in their paintings, prints, and drawings. This volume focuses on intimate views of home and family by four Nabi artists: Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947), Maurice Denis (1870–1943), Félix Vallotton (1865–1925), and Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940). For Bonnard and Denis, this arena was ideal for depicting small pleasures and modest acts of life; Vallotton and Vuillard, however, hinted at the tensions simmering just below the surface. This gorgeous catalogue is the first to delve deeply into the Nabis’ use of domestic life as the locus for artistic inspiration.

The Cleveland Museum of Art, 9780300257595, 300pp.

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

About the Author

Mary Weaver Chapin is curator of prints and drawings at the Portland Art Museum. Heather Lemonedes Brown is Virginia N. and Randall J. Barbato Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art.