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Pierre Bonnard: A "Nabis"

Paul Gauguin had a deep influence on a group of youngsters twenty years younger than he, who abandoned the principles of the Academie Julian - virtually a preparatory class for the Academy's school - and even the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in order to follow Gauguin's ideas of composing in flat , unmodeled areas as developed at Pont-Aven. By the time Gauguin left for his first stay in Tahiti his influence was apparent in the work of these young
"Nabis." The word comes from a Hebrew one meaning "prophets," but it was not altogether an apt description for a group of painters who made their own adaptation of other men's innovations but were not particularly innovative themselves.

The most enduring of the group was Pierre Bonnard. Bonnard also abandoned the restrictions of the early Nabi manner to accept a variety of stimuli. In pictures in the intimist spirit he abandoned the subdued color scheme of intimism to experiment with unusual, somewhat dissonant color combinations in a way that influenced the fauves - to be seen hereafter - and then, in turn, he was influenced by them. In his first manner, as in Bowl of
Fruit
, Bonnard may seem at a glance impressionist. Upon second glance the colors are seen to be forced to greater intensities, in combinations arbitrary rather than based on impressionism's optical laws.

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