The avant-garde magazine La Revue blanche, published by the three Natanson brothers, was infused with the interdisciplinary spirit of the fin de siècle.
The editors refused to commit themselves to a particular school or style, preferring to welcome any talented poet, journalist, dramatist or artist.
The ‘white’ in the title of their magazine referred to the optical effect achieved by mixing all the colours.
The same approach led the brothers to offer a stage to modern printmakers too.
Beginning in 1893, they included a print as the frontispiece of each issue, organised exhibitions, and published print series and print albums.
Albums full of Nabis
The Natasons enjoyed especially close links with the Nabis artists’ group.
They were avid collectors of paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton and Edouard Vuillard, whom they asked to supply prints and illustrations for the magazine.
Thadée Natanson announced La Revue blanche’s print album with these words: ‘The names you find here will be familiar to readers of this publication, in which lithographs by virtually the same group have appeared as frontispieces for the past three years.’
Misia as Figurehead
La Revue blanche was personified by Thadée’s wife, Misia Natanson, the epitome of the fashion-conscious Parisienne and the Nabis’ muse.
Her cultivated elegance, which perfectly matched the magazine’s stylish aura, was emphasised in advertising posters featuring her, which Bonnard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec designed for the magazine.
Georges Bernier, La Revue blanche. Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism and Symbolism, New York 1983
Bret Waller, Grace Seiberling, Artists of La Revue blanche: Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Vuillard, tent.cat., Rochester 1984
Pamela A. Genova, ‘Symbolist Journals: A Culture of Correspondence’, in Studies in European Cultural Transition, Hampshire 2002