Maurice Denis (1870-1943), a famous French painter, one of the leaders of the Nabis movement painted ‘Procession under the trees in St Germain en Laye’ in 1892. From February 22 to May 20, 2007, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will present a major exhibition, the first retrospective ever shown in North America of the French painter Maurice Denis.
Although familiar with Denis’s work and namely his murals and his chapel (I lived in St Germain en Laye for 13 years) I didn’t know this painting which I discovered in a book dedicated to Maurice Denis and his life a short while ago.
I found this particularly interesting namely because I had also been repeatedly inspired by similar shades projected from the barks of the trees in the park of St Germain without knowing Denis had done it too. It is true that given the space in the park and the space between the trees, the projections of those shades is absolutely remarkable and could not be missed.
My own vision of the ‘procession’ under the trees though was a modern and far more secular one. But I have the feeling that it conveys the same kind of serenity that I sense in Denis’s painting.