Florence, Piazza San Gallo, 1898
Oil on board, 10 1/4 x 11 inches
Initialed and dated MD 98 lower right
19th Century European Frame
Count Harry Kessler
The Revlon Collection
Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, Impressionist and Modern Art, 10/9/1996, lot 30
Private Collection, Maine
Galerie Druet, Maurice Denis, Paris, France, 1904, no. 63
This picture is to be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being compiled by Claire Denis and Fabienne Stahl at no. 898.0216.
Maurice Denis was a leading member of Les Nabis, a group of late nineteenth-century Parisian painters who rejected the Impressionist’s realistic observations of nature in favor of symbolic and decorative works. Denis’ style reflects many sources of inspiration, including the color and design of Italian fifteenth century Primitives, the cropped imagery of Japanese prints, the sinuous line of Art Nouveau, and the symbolism of Paul Gauguin and The Pont-Aven School.
In this work Denis has employed condensed elements, a frieze-like spatial organization, airless perspective, and opalescent color to transform the sights and atmosphere of an early evening in one of Florence’s monumental piazzas into a dreamy twilight tableau.