Maurice Denis

1870-1943

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Status, price and estimation of the artist Maurice Denis

Price of a painting: 800 – 200,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 100 – 15,000 €.

Price of a drawing and watercolour: 500 – 400,000 €.

If you would like to have a painting or drawing by Maurice Denis appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Art: a true vocation

Maurice Denis, born in Granville in 1870 and died in Paris in 1943, was a French painter, but also an engraver, theorist and even illustrator.

He took his first drawing classes in 1884 and trained as soon as he graduated from the Lycée Condorcet in Paris by attending the Louvre Museum, before returning simultaneously to the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian in 1888.

Residing for a large part of his life in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, this painter, who was used to living in Paris, acquired an international reputation. In 1912 he built a studio on the premises of an old hospital acquired from the parish of his town, which he renamed “ Prieuré ”. (now the Maurice Denis Departmental Museum), and in 1919 founded the Ateliers d’art sacré to train young painters. After the First World War, exhibitions were devoted to him, such as in Venice in 1922 and in Paris in 1924. He was elected to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1932.

The evolutionary journey of a Christian painter

In the early stages of his training at the Louvre, he discovered the works of Fra Angelico, which marked the beginning of his vocation as a Christian painter. He was influenced by the paintings of Paul Gauguin and Paul Sérusier, also of Christian influence, whose encounters were decisive for the painter.

Maurice Denis is indeed known for having founded in 1892 with Gauguin and Sérusier the “Nabis” group (derived from the word “prophet”), an avant-garde vein movement seeking to provoke a new spiritual impulse through art, of which he became the theorist.

At the turn of the twentieth century, he abandoned this traditional influence and turned to a more personal and modern iconography, inspired instead by Symbolist poetry, where he introduced the image of women into garden settings.

A recognised painter

Denis’ paintings present religious themes such as the family, as in the Mystère Catholique (1889), or Mystère (Matin) de Pâques, an enigmatic painting presented in 1892 on the occasion of the Salon des Indépendants. Some of his religious paintings painted during the period “ Nabi ” reach records at auctions, especially portraits of women, such as La Cuisinière (1893), bought for nearly 2 million € in 2015 (€1,951,840).

He then turned to landscape paintings depicting female figures, such as in Les Baigneuses à Perros-Guirec (1912), now in the Petit Palais in Paris.

Maurice Denis produced many commissioned works for major collectors such as Denys Cochin, for whom he created La Légende de Saint-Hubert in seven panels in 1897. He also illustrated famous works such as Sagesses by Paul Verlaine and Le Voyage d’Urien by André Gide. Finally, he is the author of wall decorations in famous places, such as the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Senat in Paris.

Today, Maurice Denis’ paintings are exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the MET in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, which testifies to his popularity and the important prices realized during the sales of the artist’s paintings.

Recognising Maurice Denis’s signature

Like many artists, Maurice Denis did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature maurice denis

Appraise and sell a painting by Maurice Denis

If you own a Maurice Denis painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.

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