The sitter was an art critic and a founder-director of La Dépêche de Toulouse - an important daily newspaper in southern France. He was also one of the earliest patrons of the artist, who gave him this portrait in 1892. Denis was the principal theorist of the Nabis, a group of artists which he founded with Bonnard, Vuillard and Sérusier. His early works were much influenced by Gauguin and are highly decorative in style -see, for example, the curling cigarette smoke in this picture.
Inscriptions / Translations: Signed and dated vertically l.r.: MAUD 92.
Notes: Exhibited: 'Exposition rétrospective Maurice Denis', Pavilion de Marsan, Paris, France, 1924 (no. 34); 'French Impressionism: Treasures from the Midlands', Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK, 07 June 1991 - 18 August 1991, p. 54; 'Maurice Denis, 1870-1943', Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France, 29 September 1994 - 18 December 1994 (no. 49); 'Maurice Denis', Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany, 22 January 1995 - 02 April 1995; 'Maurice Denis', Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK, 21 April 1995 - 18 June 1995; 'Maurice Denis', Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22 June 1995 - 17 September 1995; 'Maurice Denis' Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Switzerland, and Musee d'Orsay, Paris, 12 February - 16 May 2021 (Cat. p.98-99, no. 22)