Nabis (Prophets) is the name that is called a group of artists united by a spiritual quest and interested in theology and philosophy. Its purpose was to embellish everyday life. They decorated chapels, stained glass windows, They drew up posters advertising, they designed scenarios for theatrical works of art, published articles and made cartoons for “Revue Blanche”, a literary and art magazine with the participation of the Nabis own and other writers and artists such as Oscar Wilde, Máximo Gorky, Marcel Proust, o André Gide.
The Nabi group was led by Paul Sérusier and composed Odilon Redon, Puvis, Édouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Félix Vallotton, Georges Lacombe, and the sculptor Aristide Maillol. Its aim was to free art promoting it originality and fantasy.
Paul Sérusier studied at the Lycee Condorcet in Paris, and in 1885 he entered the Académie Julian, one of the largest and most representative art schools in France. Here he met Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Ranson y Henri Gabriel Ibels. In 1888 Sérusier visited Concarneau and Pont-Aven, place where he began his friendship with Emile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who just a month earlier they had laid the foundations of Synthetism with works like Breton Women in forgiveness and Vision After the Sermon, respectively.
At the beginning of October, guided by Gauguin, Sérusier Pintó Bois d'Amour in Pont-Aven, innovative work at the time due to the use of flat surfaces that were close to pure abstraction.
The painting was done on the top of a matchbox because apparently, Sérusier, He is going through a moment of doubt about the approach of his painting and Gauguin, giving a matchbox told: "He paints something in her, Art is what you see, the emotion that you ".
Back in Paris, Sérusier Mostro Bois d'Amour in Pont-Aven (also known as Talisman) a sus condiscípulos the Académie Julian, immediately proposing the creation of artistic brotherhood of the Nabis.
Each month, Nabis held a dinner at the “Os a Moelle” in the Passage Brady, and later in Montmartre, in the apartment of Paul Ranson known as "the forgotten Nabis", because of its short life between 29 of March 1864 and 20 February 1909. Attendees dressed in oriental costumes or white robes, and each artist brought an Icon, a piece of their own work. They discussed theater, literature and other social issues often read aloud to authors like Mallarmé, Maeterlinck y Baudelaire. The apartment was known as “Le Temple” and as the 'Ergasteriums', a Greek word meaning: a place where the work is done.
Bonnard and Vuillard venture into the world of painting an intimate looking for a less representational art. Sérusier and Denis are the theoretical group. The 23 August 1890, Maurice Denis, under the name of Pierre Louys published in Art and Criticism his famous article-manifesto expressed: “Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a naked woman, or any anecdote, It is essentially a flat surface covered with colors arranged in a certain order”. It was then announcing a return to art compound, some Japanese mode. It was the search for an art sensitivity and colorful.
Paul Ranson, in an explosion of art, created by then most of his works.
The 25 th of december 1895, the First Exhibition of Art Nouveau is created with the help of Paul Ranson and other Nabis. The goal was already, definitely, Art Nouveau show how the fight to eliminate the ugliness and pretentious in all facets of life.