French painter mainly of Breton subjects, theoretician and teacher. Born in Paris. Studied from 1885 at the Académie Julian. In 1888, while still a student, met Gauguin at Pont-Aven and painted a picture under his direction. On return to the Académie Julian, founded the Nabi group with Denis, Bonnard, Ranson, Vuillard, Roussel and others. In Brittany with Gauguin in the summers of 1889 and 1890, working under his influence. Continued to spend much of his time in Brittany, from 1893 at Châteauneuf. Designed sets for the Théâtre d'Art and L'Oeuvre 1891-7. His interest in mathematical proportions and colour theory was reinforced from 1896 by contact with the Benedictine painters of Beuron. Made mural paintings to decorate the church at Châteauneuf. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Druet, Paris, in 1909 and began later the same year to teach at the Académie Ranson. Set out his theories in ABC de la Peinture (first published 1921). Died at Morlaix.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.680-1