Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre
Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre (1824-98). The foremost French mural painter of the second half of the 19th century.

432 x 600 37.2K
37.2K, 432 x 600

Young Girls at the Seaside
Painted: 1879
Musée d'Orsay

Study of Four Figures for Repose
Painted: 1863
Sanguine, pencil, and white gouache on cream paper
Musée d'Orsay

354 x 600 34.6K
34.6K, 354 x 600

346 x 600 22.6K
22.6K, 346 x 600

The Balloon
Painted: 1870
Musée d'Orsay

The Poor Fisherman
Painted: 1881
Oil on canvas
155 x 192.5 cm
Musee d'Orsay

1044 x 830 127.8K
127.8K, 1044 x 830

He decorated many public buildings in France (for example, the Panthéon, the Sorbonne, and the Hôtel de Ville, all in Paris) and also Boston Public Library. His paintings were done on canvas and then affixed to the walls (marouflage), but their pale colors imitated the effect of fresco. He had only modest success early in his career (when a private income enabled him to work for little payment), but he went on to achieve an enormous reputation, and he was universally respected even by artists of very different aims and outlook from his own. Gauguin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec were among his professed admirers. His reputation has since declined, his idealized depictions of antiquity or allegorical representations of abstract themes now often seeming rather anaemic. He remains important, however, because of his influence on younger artists.

His simplified forms, respect for the flatness of the picture surface, rhythmic line, and use of non-naturalistic color to evoke the mood of the painting appealed to both the Post-Impressionists and the Symbolists.