French painter and designer. The son of a
successful local politician, Ranson was encouraged from the outset in his artistic
ambitions. He studied at the Ecoles des Arts Décoratifs in Limoges and Paris but
transferred in 1886 to the Académie Julian. There he met Paul Sérusier and in 1888
became one of the original members of the group known as the NABIS. From 1890 onwards,
Ranson and his wife France hosted Saturday afternoon meetings of the Nabis in their
apartment in the Boulevard du Montparnasse, jokingly referred to as Le Temple.
Ranson acted as linchpin for the sometimes dispersed group. Noted for his enthusiasm and
wit and for his keen interests in philosophy, theosophy and theatre, he brought an element
of esoteric ritual to their activities. For example he introduced the secret Nabi language
and the nicknames used familiarly within the group. He also constructed a puppet theatre
in his studio for which he wrote plays that were performed by the Nabis before a
discerning public of writers and politicians.
Nabi Landscape 1890
in Eskual Heria
with a Fan
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