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Les Nabis

Les Nabis, Art Movement

In 1888-89, Les Nabis originated as a rebellious group of young student artists who banded together at the Académie Julian in Paris, France. A group of Post-Impressionist artists and illustrators, they became very influential in the field of graphic art between 1891-1899.

Nabis artists are noted for the variety of media in which they worked. in addition to the fine arts, they worked in printmaking, poster design, book illustration, textiles, furniture and theatre design.

Their emphasis on design was shared by the parallel Art Nouveau movement. Both groups also had close ties to the Symbolists.

The name Nabi is derived from the Hebrew word for prophet. Les Nabis regarded themselves as initiates, using a private vocabulary: They called a studio egasterium, and used to end their letters with the initials E.T.P.M.V. et M.P., which stood for "En ta paume, mon verba et ma paume" ("In the palm of your hand, my word and my palm.")

Significant members of Les Nabis were: