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Maurice Denis

Model Seated with Her Back against a Tree


Maurice Denis
Granville, France, 1870 – Paris 1943


Model Seated with Her Back against a Tree


About 1906


Oil on wood


22.8 x 26.3 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2010.651


Western Art

This small panel is a free-form study for a large painting, Nymphs and Dryads, or Springtime in the Forest, produced near the duck pond in the Forest of Saint-Germain, near Paris. The painter loved to visit this spot in the springtime to pick white anemones and blue hyacinths. This young girl among the flowers embodies the reawakening of nature, and the promise of a blossoming to come. With her timeless and immaculate dress, she symbolizes a sense of purity dear to the artist, who painted this work as a tribute to his wife, Marthe. The work is characteristic of Denis’s revival of the classical style between 1898 and 1918.

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