New technology allowed for inexpensive printing and the wide distribution of newspapers, books, and advertisements in the late nineteenth century. Maurice Denis created a poster advertising the newspaper La Dépêche de Toulouse. The owner of the paper was so pleased with the swirling excitement of the art nouveau-styled poster that he asked Denis to create this painting as a larger and more permanent image to be hung in his office.
Artist Maurice Denis, French, 1870-1943
  • La Depêche de Toulouse
Date 1892
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 51 3/4 × 35 1/4 inches (131.4 × 89.5 cm)
Framed: 67 3/4 inches × 51 inches × 3 1/4 inches (172.1 × 129.5 × 8.3 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund
Accession Number 1985.15
Department European Painting
On View Modern N2BB, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed, center left, vertically: MAUDENIS
Inscriptions Inscribed, throughout, as part of composition, on the newspapers: LA DEPÊCHE | Editions
1892, Arthur Huc (Toulouse, France);
by descent to Mme. Chaviat (Toulouse, France);
private collection (Switzerland);
(Jean Pierre Selz, Lynven, Inc., New York, New York, USA);
1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Barazzetti-Demoulin, S. Maurice Denis, 25 Novembvre 1870-13 Novembre 1943. Paris, 1945, p. 279.

Bulletin of the DIA: Annual Report 62, no. 3 (1986): p. 11 (pl. VII), p. 21.

Masterpieces from The Detroit Institute of Arts. Exh. cat., Bunkamura Museum of Art, et al. Tokyo, 1989, pp 109, 226, cat. 77 (ill.).

Leonard, Anne. Arabesque. Exh. cat., Clark Art Institute. Willamston, MA, 2019, p. 37, cat. no. 12 (fig. 40 ill.).