French painter, printmaker, designer and theorist, Maurice Denis was born in Normandy in 1870 and spent his life just west of Paris in Saint-Germain-en- Laye. Denis attended the Lycée Condorcet in Paris where he met many of his future artistic contemporaries. From 1888 to 1890 he studied simultaneously at the Ecole des Beaux- Arts and the Académie Julian.
Denis, along with a number of like-minded contemporaries at the Académie Julian, formed the NABIS, a secret brotherhood dedicated to a form of pictorial Symbolism, which was loosely based on the innovations of Gauguin and Bernard. In 1919, Denis attempted to revive the teachings of religious art and co-founded the Studios of Sacred Art.
He received many commissions for murals. Among the most important were those for the Theatre of the Champs Elysee in 1912 and for St. Martin in Vienna in 1933.