Claire Freches-Theory is a curator in the Department of Paintings at the Musee d'Orsay. Antoine Terrasse is a specialist on the Nabis, and has published a monograph on Pierre Bonnard and a catalog raisonne of Bonnard's engravings.
Renouncing the impressionists' charm, the Nabis captured the tempo, complexity and nervous energy of the modern world in paintings that run the gamut from darkly mystical to deliriously poetical to fiercely intellectual. This stunning album, which weds superb color reproductions to a perspicacious, lively text, goes far beyond Edouard Vuillard's marvelous room interiors, Maurice Denis's visions of slender women in long dresses, and Pierre Bonnard's illusionist renderings of moments of daily life. Tracing the Nabis' intricate friendships, love lives, theories and influences ranging from Gauguin to Japanese prints, the authors show how this Parisian art movement matured as it welcomed into its fold the Dutch Jan Verkade, the Swiss Felix Valloton, the Hungarian Jozsef Rippl-Ronai and the Dane Mogens Ballin. The book also provides striking visual evidence that the Nabis did some of their most original work in graphics, tapestries, screens, watercolors on fans, furniture bas-reliefs and theater design. Freches-Thory is a curator at Paris's Musee d'Orsay; Terrasse is author of Pierre Bonnard. (May)