Homage to Cézanne

Homage to Cézanne

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Title: Homage to Cézanne.

Author : DENIS Maurice (1870 - 1943)

Creation date : 1900

Date shown: 1900

Dimensions: Height 180 - Width 240

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas

Storage place: Orsay Museum website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - H. Lewandowski

Picture reference: 95DE10150 / RF 1977-137

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - H. Lewandowski

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

In 1888, young painters gave themselves the name of nabis (“prophets” in Hebrew). Maurice Denis nevertheless appears as a movement theorist after the publication in 1890 of his article “Definition of neo-traditionalism”, which has the value of a manifesto and in which he writes “to remember that a painting, before being a horse of battle, a naked woman, or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors in a certain order assembled ”.

Image Analysis

At the center of the composition, Cézanne is present through his canvas Fruit bowl, glass and apples. This painting having belonged to Gauguin, who had reproduced it in one of his works (Portrait of a Woman in Cézanne's Still Life, Chicago, Art Institute), also becomes a subtle allusion to this other great master of Nabis painters. They met at the Académie Julian in Paris, and between 1888 and 1900 they established a new aesthetic based on the treatment of solid color, most often surrounded by a black ring. If their exhibitions usually take place at the Revue Blanche, of which the Nabis are the favorite painters, they are grouped here in the shop of Vollard (famous dealer who organized several exhibitions of Nabis paintings), with three characters who defended by their side. the novelties of these painters. On the far left of the composition, Redon (who befriended the Nabis and encouraged their research), then Vuillard, Mellerio (art critic defender of the Nabis), Vollard and Denis himself . On the right, Sérusier, Ranson, Roussel, Bonnard and Marthe Denis, wife and muse of the artist, the only character looking at us, thus signifying that she is like us spectator. There is a lack of other painters such as Vallotton, but Denis has brought together here those of the nabis who were closest to Redon.


Although innovative, Maurice Denis and his followers still consider themselves to be the disciples of a master, Cézanne, to whom they feel indebted. Painted on the edge of the twentiethe century when each of the Nabis painters, moreover very different from one another, showed their own particularities. Homage to Cézanne is therefore also the souvenir portrait of a group of artists, produced at a time when, as Antoine Terrasse writes, “a period in the history of painting was completed, which they left their mark on and filled with their elegance ”.

  • art critic
  • painters
  • portrait
  • Cezanne (Paul)
  • Artistic current
  • Gauguin (Paul)
  • Nabis
  • Redon (Odilon)


Maurice Denis exhibition catalog, Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1994.Nabis 1888-1900 catalog of the exhibition, National Galleries of the Grand Palais, September 21, 1993 - January 3, 1994, Paris, RMN, 1993 Claire FRECHES-THORY and Antoine TERRASSE The Nabis Paris, Flammarion, 1990.Cezanne exhibition catalog, National Galleries of the Grand Palais, Paris, RMN, 1995.

To cite this article

Nadine FATTOUH-MALVAUD, “Homage to Cézanne”

Video: Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire