REVUE BLANCHE (La)
This was the first literary review to seek from painters a collaboration that was not occasional but that, on the contrary, based on very subtle affinities, was to be maintained during the twelve years that the magazine existed -- a long time for an avant-garde review, and perhaps unequalled. The Revue Blanche was founded by the brothers Alexandre and Thadée Natanson in October 1891. Among the contributors who were interested in the plastic arts were, along with Thadée Natanson himself, Octave Mirbeau, Jules Renard, Alfred Jarry, Tristan Bernard, Félix Fénéon, Félicien Fagus and Guillaume Apollinaire. Regular meetings took place on the premises of the magazine, attended by Toulouse-Lautrec, Sérusier, Bonnard, Vuillard, Ranson, Roussel, Maurice Denis, Steinlen, Vallotton and others. It was during these gatherings, often tumultuous and generally conducted by Sérusier, that a number of new artistic theories first were aired. The participants would be first Synthesist, then Neo-Impressionist or 'Neo-Traditionalist', and also Mystic. However, on the whole the tone of the Revue Blanche reflected a taste for detailed observation, but was always careful to avoid the excesses and facility of Naturalism. One of the issues that created a scandal was that of May 1900, in which Thadée Natanson, attacking the official Salon des Artistes Français, opposed to it the work of the painters grouped about the magazine, 'intelligent painters' as he said. These words, which the author had chosen for the tide of his article, resounded like a challenge and took on the aspect of a manifesto. In 1901 Fagus, in the first article devoted to this artist in France, discovered the Picasso of the 'Blue Period'. Bonnard composed a series of lithographs in colour for the magazine in 1893, and in 1894 his celebrated poster). Vallotton adorned the review with portraits of writers and artists, frontispieces or drawings, for which Jules Renard sometimes wrote commentaries. As early as 1896, when Bonnard exhibited for the first time at the Durand-Ruel Gallery, Thadée Natanson published an excellent study of him, and articles on Lautrec in 1893 and 1901. Maurice Denis spoke of Renoir in 1892. Fénéon became the interpreter of Neo-Impressionism and of the Nabis, and he organized on the premises of the magazine itself two famous exhibitions, the retrospectives of Seurat in 1892 and 1900. The first exhibition of Vuillard also took place at the office of the Revue Blanche in 1891; and it published the famous manuscript of Gauguin, Noa Noa, in 1897. It was in the issue of April 15th, 1903. that Fagus announced the end of this publication which, in its boldness and its fidelity to its initial views, had reflected an artistic period whose originality and interest could not fail to make history.
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