Obelisk Art History
The Artists

Maurice Denis
Art as prophesy

Maurice Denis, The Artists
Portrait of Maurice Denis

Maurice Denis was a French artist born on November 25, 1870. Denis contributed to the Symbolist and Nabi movements and died on November 13, 1943.

I used to say: “What is naked is chaste, what is naked is beautiful,” and I didn’t know what it was. Now, I know it and I like it; alas! why must it not be chaste? and why must attractive delights of necessity be indecent?

On Fra Angelico, Chastity and Desire 1886

Virginal printemps (pommiers en fleurs), Maurice Denis

Virginal printemps (pommiers en fleurs) 1894

Figures in a Spring Landscape (Sacred Grove), Maurice Denis

Figures in a Spring Landscape (Sacred Grove) 1897

Springtime, Maurice Denis

Springtime 1894 – 1899

Descent from the Cross, Maurice Denis

Descent from the Cross 1901

What makes a piece of artwork significant, is the fullness of the artist’s efforts, the powerfulness of his or her will.

On Raphael and the Power of Will 1904

What a pitfall the practice of Antiquity can be—It is an art that is too rich, too perfect, too general, of bygone idealism, and for which the conventions have become nearly incomprehensible

On Rome and the Wonders of Antiquity 1904

Polyphemus, Maurice Denis

Polyphemus 1907

Psyche Panel 1 — Eros is Struck by Psyche's Beauty, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 1 — Eros is Struck by Psyche's Beauty 1908

Psyche Panel 2 — Zephyr Transporting Psyche to the Island of Delight, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 2 — Zephyr Transporting Psyche to the Island of Delight 1908

Psyche Panel 3 — Psyche Discovers that Her Mysterious Lover is Eros, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 3 — Psyche Discovers that Her Mysterious Lover is Eros 1908

Psyche Panel 4 — The Vengeance of Venus, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 4 — The Vengeance of Venus 1908

Psyche Panel 5 — Jupiter Bestows Immortality on Psyche, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 5 — Jupiter Bestows Immortality on Psyche 1908

Psyche Panel 6 — Psyche's Kin Bid Her Farewell, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 6 — Psyche's Kin Bid Her Farewell 1908

Psyche Panel 7 — Cupid Carrying Psyche Up to Heaven, Maurice Denis

Psyche Panel 7 — Cupid Carrying Psyche Up to Heaven 1908

Wave, Maurice Denis

Wave 1916

The Royal Tiger Bacchanale, Maurice Denis

The Royal Tiger Bacchanale 1920

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