Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes Art Galleries
Born in Lyons on Dec. 14, 1824, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes belonged to the generation of Gustave Courbet and ??douard Manet, and he was fully aware of their revolutionary achievements. Nevertheless, he was drawn to a more traditional and conservative style. From his first involvement with art, which began after a trip to Italy and which interrupted his intention to follow the engineering profession that his father practiced, Puvis pursued his career within the scope of academic classicism and the Salon. Even in this chosen arena, however, he was rejected, particularly during the 1850s. But he gradually won acceptance. By the 1880s he was an established figure in the Salons, and by the 1890s he was their acknowledged master.
In both personal and artistic ways Puvis career was closely linked with the avant-grade. In the years of his growing public recognition, when he began to serve on Salon juries, he was consistently sympathetic to the work of younger, more radical artists. Later, as president of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts - the new Salon, as it was called - he was able to exert even more of a liberalizing influence on the important annual exhibitions.
Puvis sympathy to new and radical artistic directions was reflected in his own painting. Superficially he was a classicist, but his personal interpretation of that style was unconventional. His subject matter - religious themes, allegories, mythologies, and historical events - was clearly in keeping with the academic tradition. But his style eclipsed his outdated subjects: he characteristically worked with broad, simple compositions, and he resisted the dry photographic realism which had begun to typify academic painting about the end of the century. In addition, the space and figures in his paintings inclined toward flatness, calling attention to the surface on which the images were depicted. These qualities gave his work a modern, abstract look and distinguished it from the sterile tradition to which it might otherwise have been linked.
Along with their modern, formal properties, Puvis paintings exhibited a serene and poetic range of feeling. His figures frequently seem to be wrapped in an aura of ritualistic mystery, as though they belong in a private world of dreams or visions. Yet these feelings invariably seem fresh and sincere. This combination of form and feeling deeply appealed to certain avant-garde artists of the 1880s and 1890s. Although Puvis claimed he was neither radical nor revolutionary, he was admired by the symbolist poets, writers, and painters - including Paul Gauguin and Maurice Denis - and he influenced the neoimpressionist painter Georges Seurat.
During his mature career Puvis executed many mural paintings. In Paris he did the Life of St. Genevieve (1874-1878) in the Panth??on and Science, Art, and Letters (1880s) in the Sorbonne. In Lyons he executed the Sacred Grove, the Antique Vision, and Christian Inspiration (1880s) in the Mus??e des Beaux-Arts. He painted Pastoral Poetry (1895-1898) in the Boston Public Library. These commissions reflect the high esteem with which Puvis was regarded during his own lifetime. Among his most celebrated oil paintings are Hope (1872) and the Poor Fisherman (1881). He died in Paris on Oct. 10, 1898. Related Paintings of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes :. | The Poor Fisherman | Musee de Picardie. cliche H.Maertens | THe Balloon | Summer | Woman on the Beach |
Related Artists:Meyer, Jeremiah
English Painter, 1735-1789
German enameller and painter, active in England. He was the son of a portrait painter at the court of W?rttemberg. He arrived in England c. 1749 and studied in London at St Martin's Lane Academy and then (1757-8) under Christian Friedrich Zincke; as a result of this training, much of Meyer's early work was painted on enamel. He exhibited (1760-67) at the Society of Artists and in 1761 was awarded its gold medal for a profile portrait of George III. In 1762 he became a naturalized Englishman. That year he was appointed miniature painter to Queen Charlotte and in 1764 painter in enamel to the King. Meyer was a founder-member of the Royal Academy and exhibited miniatures, enamels and watercolours there (1769-83). Mauve, Anton
Dutch painter. He came from a large family of clergymen in the province of North Holland. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to the animal painter Pieter Frederik van Os (1808-92): animals (especially sheep, but also cows and horses) became Mauve's preferred theme. He then trained for a few months with Wouterus Verschuur, who gave him his love of horses, in the style, at least, of Paulus Potter and Philips Wouwerman. Ralph Blakelock
American Painter, 1847-1919
One of the most important visionary artists in late 19th-century America, he was self-taught as a painter. From 1867 he was exhibiting landscapes in the style of the Hudson River school at the National Academy of Design in New York. Rather than going abroad for advanced training, like most of his contemporaries, he spent the years 1869-72 in the western United States. Back in New York, Blakelock evolved his personal style during the 1870s and 1880s. Eschewing literal transcriptions of nature, he preferred to paint evocative moonlit landscapes such as Moonlight (Washington, DC, Corcoran Gal. A.).