About This Artwork

Pierre Cécile Puvis de Chavannes
French, 1824–1898

The Fisherman's Family, 1887

Oil on canvas
82.5 x 71.8 cm (32 1/2 x 28 1/4 in.)
Inscribed lower left: P. Puvis de Chavannes 1887

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1915.227

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exposition de tableaux, esquisses et dessins de Puvis de Chavannes, June–July, 1899, no. 11.

London, Grosvenor House, Bernheim-Jeune, Art français: Exposition d’art décoratif contemporain, 1800–1885, 1914, cat. 60.

Hartford, Connecticut, Wadsworth Atheneum, An Exhibition of Literature and Poetry in Painting since 1850, January 24–February 14, 1933, cat. 55.

Art Institute of Chicago, Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1933, cat. 273.

Art Institute of Chicago, Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1934, cat. 199E.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, From David to Cezanne: Paintings and Drawings, February 9–March 10, 1935, cat. 32.

Arts Club of Chicago, Origins of Modern Art, April 2–30, 1940, cat. 37.

Toledo Museum of Art, The Spirit of Modern France: An Essay on Painting in Society, 1745–1956, November–December 1946, cat. 36; travelled to Art Gallery of Toronto, January–February, 1947.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Nabis and Their Circle, November 14–December 30, 1962, no cat. no.

Miami Art Center, The Artist and the Sea, March 21–April 18, 1969, cat. 31.

Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, The Sacred and Profane in Symbolist Art, November 1–26, 1969, no cat. no.

Paris, Grand Palais, Puvis de Chavannes: 1824–1898, November 26, 1976–February 14, 1977, cat. 108; travelled to Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, March 25–May 8, 1977.

Tokyo, Seibu Museum of Art, Shikago Bijutsukan Insho-ha ten (The Impressionist Tradition: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago), October 18–December 17, 1985, no. 50; Fukuoka Art Museum, January 5–February 2, 1986; Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, March 4–April 13, 1986.

Nagaoka, Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Masterworks of Modern Art from The Art Institute of Chicago, April 20–May 29, 1994, cat. 12; traveled to Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, June 10–July 24, 1994; and Yokohama Museum of Art, August 6–September 25, 1994.

Publication History

“Art,” Chicago Daily Tribune (November 6, 1898), p. 33.

“Puvis de Chavannes: Pictures in Private Possession,” in Masters in Art, vol. 3 (Boston: Bates & Build Company, 1903), p. 419.

“Les grandes ventes: La première vacation de la collection Aynard,” Gil Blas (December 2, 1913), p. 3.

“Paris Letter: Paris, Dec. 10, 1913,” American Art News 12, 2 (1913), p. 8.

T. Martin Wood, “The Grosvenor House Exhibition of French Art,” The Studio 54, 213 (1914), pp. 10 (ill.), 11.

“Notes,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 9, 5 (1915), p. 71, cover ill.

“Accessions to the Museum,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 9, 6 (1915), p. 90.

Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture and Architecture (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1917), p. 142, no. 346.

Art Institute of Chicago, Forty-First Annual Report (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1919), p. 50 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings, and Drawings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1920), p. 37, no. 346.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture and Paintings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1922), p. 38, no. 346.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1923), p. 38, no. 346.

L. C., “Studies for the Childhood of St. Genevieve, Puvis de Chavannes,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 18, 1 (1924), pp. 117, 119, 120 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1925), pp. 55 (ill.), 57, 149, no. 346.

Frank Jewett Mather, Jr., Modern Painting (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1927), frontispiece.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1932), pp. 51 (ill.), 53, 167.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 362.

John H. Neff, “Puvis de Chavannes: Three Easel Paintings,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 4 (1969), pp. 68, 73–75, 77, 83 ns. 24, 26, 29, 32; fig. 8.

Aimée Brown Price, “Puvis de Chavannes: A Study of the Easel Paintings and A Catalogue of the Painted Works,” (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1972), pp. 554–55.

Harold Joachim, Dessins français de l’Art Institute de Chicago de Watteau à Picasso, exh. cat. (Paris: Musée du Louvre, 1976), under no. 49.

Brian Petrie, “Puvis de Chavannes in Paris,” Burlington Magazine 119, 887 (1977), pp. 137, 140, fig. 93.

Dirk Kocks, “Paris: Grand Palais: Ausstellung: Pierre Puvis de Chavannes oder der humanistische Traum von Arkadien,” Pantheon 35, 2 (1977), p. 165 (ill.).

Richard R. Brettell, French Salon Artists, 1800–1900 (New York: H. N. Abrams, 1987), pp. 113, 115 (ill.), 119.

Musée historique des Tissus, Edouard Aynard: le fondateur du musée, exh. cat. (Lyon: Musée historique des Tissus, 1990), pp. 39–40.

William H. Robinson, “Puvis de Chavannes’s ‘Summer’ and the Symbolist Avant-Garde,” Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 78, 1 (1991), p. 16, fig. 17.

Jules Laforgue, “Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1886),” in Henri Dorra, ed., Symbolist Art Theories (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 41, fig. 8.

Namiko Sasaki, “Puvis de Chavannes: The Role He Took On,” in Judith A. Barter, et. al. Masterworks of Modern Art from The Art Institute of Chicago, exh. cat. (Nagaoka, Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, 1994), p. 192; English translation, p. 205.

Aimée Brown Price, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum, 1994), pp. 18, 47, fig. 24.

Anne Baldassari, “From Puvis de Chavannes to Picasso, ‘To Turn Abstraction into the Forge of Signs’,” in Serge Lemoine, ed., Toward Modern Art: From Puvis Chavannes to Matisse and Picasso, exh. cat. (Venice: Palazzo Grassi, 2002), pp. 146, 148, 150, figs. 1, 7.

Aimée Brown Price, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), vol. 1, pl. 168; vol. 2, pp. 304–05, cat. 327.

Ownership History

Sold by the artist to Edouard Aynard (died 1913), Lyon, March 2, 1888 with Durand-Ruel acting as agent [according to the Aynard sale catalogue]; his estate sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, December 1, 1913, no. 12 for 40,000 francs to Bernheim-Jeune [price and buyer according to Gil Blas 1913];Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; sold to Martin A. Ryerson, Chicago, February 25, 1914 [see receipt of sale, copy in curatorial file]; given to the Art Institute, 1915.




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