The Public Garden, circa 1905-7
Oil on board, 9 1/4 x 13 inches
Monogrammed MAUD lower right
Galerie Paul Vallotton, Lausanne, 1983 (no. 12474 in their archives)
This picture is to be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being compiled by Claire Denis and Fabienne Stahl at no. 900.0023* and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity.
Maurice Denis was a leading member of Les Nabis, a group of late nineteenth century Parisian painters whose flat, stylized compositions were both symbolic and decorative.
From the broad dabs of color suggesting tulips, to the crude strokes that indicate the fountain, the child-like simplicity and directness of observation in The Public Garden owe their genesis to the artist’s admiration of the stylized monumental forms of fifteenth century Italian primitives, as well as the folk art traditions of Brittany. With its vivid colors and spritely naïve execution within a flat picture plane, the artist has created an optimistic impression of a spring day informed by a modern sensibility.