Les Nabis were a group of Post-Impressionist avant-garde artists who set the pace for fine arts and graphic arts in France in the 1890s. Initially a group of friends interested in contemporary art and literature, most of them studied at the private art school of Rodolphe Julian (Académie Julian) in Paris in the late 1880s.Read More
In 1890, they began to participate successfully in public exhibitions, while most of their artistic output remained in private hands or in the possession of the artists themselves but by 1896, the unity of the group had already begun to break.
Considered to be on the cutting edge of modern art during their early period, their subject matter was representational but was design-oriented along the lines of the Japanese prints they so admired, and Art Nouveau.
After the turn of the century, as modern art moved towards Abstraction, Expressionism, and Cubism, Les Nabis were viewed as conservatives and, indeed, were among the last group of artists to stick to the roots and artistic ambitions of the Impressionists, pursuing these ends almost into the middle of the 20th century. In their later years, these painters also largely abandoned their earlier interests in decorative and applied arts.