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Definition: Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


French decorative, symbolic painter

Born in Lyons, he painted murals of the life of St Geneviève (1898) which may be seen in the Panthéon, Paris, and large allegorical works such as Work and Peace, on the staircase of the Musée de Picardie, Amiens. He created striking new images with paintings such as The Poor Fisherman (1881, Musée d'Orsay, Paris), which influenced younger painters and sculptors, such as Georges Seurat and Aristide Maillol, while his decorative style influenced Paul Gauguin and Odilon Redon.

Summary Article: Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(pyĕr püvē' dӘ shävän'), 1824–98, French mural painter, b. Lyons. In 1844 he went to Paris, where he studied under Delacroix and Couture. His painting War (Amiens), purchased by the state in 1861, established his reputation. From that time on he lived in Paris and painted mural decorations there and in other cities. Late in life he married his lifelong friend, Princess Marie Cantacuzène. They both died the following year. Although Puvis studied with the romanticists, his work is classical in inspiration. His chaste murals with their subdued color and allegorical figures are in the Hôtel de Ville, the Sorbonne, and the Panthéon, Paris, and in the Boston Public Library. His easel paintings can be found in many American and European galleries.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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