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(b Granville, Normandy, 25 Nov. 1870; d Paris, 13 Nov. 1943). French painter, designer, lithographer, illustrator, and writer on art theory. Early in his career he was a Symbolist and a member of the Nabis. He was the chief theorist of the group and one of his articles, ‘Definition of Neo-Traditionalism’ (1890), contains a pronouncement that has become famous as an anticipation of the underlying principle of much modern—especially abstract—art: ‘Remember that a picture—before being a war horse or a nude woman or an anecdote—is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)