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Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Born: Lyon, 14 December 1824
Died: Paris, 24 October 1898
Nationality: French

wealthy bourgeois family


with Henri Scheffer; brief study with Eugène Delacroix; with Thomas Couture


1850 – exhibits Dead Christ (Gezira Museum, Cairo) at the Salon

1852 – Salon entries rejected

1854-5 – executes a series of decorative paintings for his brother’s house, Le Brouchy

1859 – resumes participation in Salon exhibitions

1861 – receives second-class Salon medal for history painting

1864 – receives first public commission from the Musée Napoléon for Ave Picardia Nutrix (in situ)

1872 – resigns as a member of Salon jury in protest of its intolerance; Puvis’s own painting, Death and the Maidens (Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA) is rejected

1890 – founder-member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts along with Ernest Meissonier and Auguste Rodin

1896 – elected President of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts

1897 – marries Princess Marie Cantacuzène

Students include: Paul Baudouin and Ary Renan


Italy (1846, 1848)

Important Artworks: 

Hope, 1872 Salon (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)

Life of St Genviéve, 1874-78 (frescoes, Panthéon, Paris)

The Dream, 1883  (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)

Inter artes et naturam (Between Art and Nature), 1888-91 (Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, replica in Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Auguste Rodin, Puvis de Chavannes, 1890-1901 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)


Paul Durand-Ruel