Art & Art History ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis deals with Nabi places of exhibition from 1890 to 1898. An identification of the Nabis and their style is made in Chapter I. In Chapter II, the discussion concentrates on the early places of Nabi exhibition: The Independants, Saint-Germain-en-Laye and various small galleries such as Pere Tanguy's paint shop. Chapter III examines the most important place of Nabi exhibition, the Galerie Le Bare de Boutteville. From late 1891 on, this gallery provided the Nabis with an opportunity to exhibit their works in the artistic center of Paris at multiple Expositions des Peintres impressionnistes et symbolistes. Consequently, Le Barc's gallery became much more important to the Nabis than the annual shows of the Independants and Saint-Germain-en-Laye or the small out of the way galleries they had first exhibited in. By 1893, the Nabis had conquered the Parisian art world and their interest in Le Bare de Boutteville's gallery, which had provided them with initial longterm exposure, started to dwindle. Through imaginative commissions, Samuel Bing and Amb􀀘o;se Vollard drew the attention of the Nabis away from Le Barc's galler; to their own. Chapter IV studies these and other later places of exhibition, Chapter V examines a more unusual aspect of Nabi exposure to the public--that in publications and commissions of several periodicals. Along with La Plume, the Revue blanche had en­couraged the Nabis to exhibit in their offices. But in addition, the Revue blanche included lithographs by the Nabis in its monthly issues. The Journal des Artistes commissioned Nabi works to inaugurate L'Estampe originale. Nabi works were thus exhibited outside of the galleries to a greatly expanded public in periodical publications.

Parallel to the study of places of Nabi exhibition is the examination of the critical reaction to Nabi works displayed. At the Independants and Saint-Gemain-en-Laye, the Nabis were considered revolu­tionary artists, poorly understood by the general public and many critics. It is at the Galerie Le Bare de Boutteville that continued exhibition of their works better acquaint the public with these works and by 1893 won its approval. The rise to popularity was very swift from 1891 to 1893. Almost as swiftly did the Nabis lose the public's interest as their later works came to be considered as repetition of their earlier ex­amples. It is aroused again only briefly in 1898 when the equivalent of a Nabi retrospective was held at Ambroise Vollard's gallery. It should be emphasized, however, that leading contemporary critics, such as Arsene Alexandre, Roger Marx, and Thadee Natanson, gave the Nabis their whole hearted support from the very beginning and continued to do so even when the general public interest waned.

This study of Nabi works displayed at various places of exhibition and the critical reaction to these works is a social one. It examines how the Nabis exploited the unique opportunities of exhibition offered during and after their rise to prominence within their unique historical, space and time: Paris from 1890 to 1898.



Document Type


Degree Name


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Gabriel P. Weisberg

Second Committee Member

Van Deren Coke

Third Committee Member

Douglas R. George

Fourth Committee Member

Mary Elizabeth Smith