Les Nabis represents a group of artists who set down the momentum for fine arts and graphic arts in France in the 1890s. It was initially a league of friends who had their interest in contemporary art and literature.
It was in the year 1890 that they started participating in the public exhibitions but then the output remained either a private property or that of the artists. It was in 1896 that this group of artists began to dismantle and the lead members of the group got the standing to artistically survive on their own. It was only Paul Serusier who had problems to overcome. He was the one who later galvanized Les Nabis and gave its name.
The Nabi group represented the kind of art which grew out of the work of Paul Gauguin. They advocated the theory that a picture had a meaning only when it possessed ‘style.’ This implies that the art represented the personality of its artist. The artist explores and imposes the change on the objects as per his own personality. The Nabis Artists were known to be truly dedicated to the sources of personal and spiritual art.
Les Nabis Movement had a great Influence on art which laid the foundation for the development of abstract and non-representational art in the beginning of the 20th Century. The style of this art was representational yet design oriented. It used all kinds of material medium including oils, distempers, producing posters, prints, book illustration, textiles and furniture.
After the end of the century, as the modern art grew, Les Nabis were seen as conservatives and that is the reason in years later, these painters also largely forsaked their earlier influence in Decorative and Applied Arts.
Some of the Nabis artists were Maurice Denis,Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Paul Ranson and Félix Vallotton. One of the most prominent arts of this time is “The Talisman” (1888).