Post-Impressionism The Nabis

Whereas the Impressionists depicted transient light in the out-of-doors, thereby undermining the solidity of the image, the post-Impressionist Nabis (“The Prophets”, in Hebrew) were in search of clear synthetic forms. They no longer sought a direct portrayal of reality, but an evocative transposition of it into a carefully considered aesthetic context. Innovative and autonomous use of line and colour, with a preference for flat surfaces and forceful decorative contours, offered artists a way of giving expression to their own personal perceptions. This quest for artistic reinvention and craving for primitivism took Paul Gauguin, who inspired this group of French artists, from Paris via Brittany to the Marquesas Islands. Others withdrew into a mental world of religiosity and mysticism, akin to that of the emerging idealist movement.