Maurice Denis (November 25, 1870 - November 1943) was a French painter and writer and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories contributed to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art.
In his famous proposal for the definition of painting, he stated:
"Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order." The subjects of his paintings included landscapes and figure studies, particularly of mother and child. But his primary interest was in painting religious subjects.
Denis died in Paris of injuries resulting from an automobile accident in November 1943. (The date of his death is variously listed as the 2nd, 3rd, or 13th.)