Maurice Denis French

Not on view

Springtime, with its associations of joyful new life, was a source of constant inspiration for Denis. This double-sided canvas presents two studies for his 1899 painting Virginal Spring (private collection), in which young women engage in a purification ritual evocative of Christian baptism and communion. The verdant setting is the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, whose tree-lined glades and dainty wildflowers captivated Denis. He later reprised this composition in his mural series Eternal Spring (Musée départemental Maurice Denis, Saint-Germain-en-Laye), one of his most ambitious attempts at rejuvenating the practice of decorative painting in France.

Springtime, Maurice Denis (French, Granville 1870–1943 Saint-Germain-en-Laye), Oil on canvas

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