Maurice Denis. Forest in Spring, 1894. Oil on canvas. Tom James Co./Oxxford Clothes (cat. no. 17)

Maurice Denis. Forest in Autumn, 1894. Oil on canvas. Tom James Co./Oxxford Clothes (cat. no. 18)

These monumental canvases resulted from a curious and well-documented exchange between Maurice Denis and his patron, art critic and newspaper editor Arthur Huc, who was among the first to organize exhibitions of work by the Nabis. Huc originally requested painted door curtains, suggesting that Denis paint on a coarse fabric that would give the works the appearance of tapestry. Denis responded with these stunning panels, which, although they feature borders inspired by 17th-century Flemish tapestries, were actually painted on fine-weave canvas. Huc was delighted with the results and eventually installed the works on the dining-room doors of his home in Toulouse.

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