Interpretive Resource

Artist Biography: Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

A concise biography about Puvis de Chavannes's life and work.

National Gallery of Art. Micro Gallery—National Gallery of Art. Online Content. Washington, D.C., 2004.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
French, 1824-1898
Puvis de Chavannes is best known for his murals decorating public and private buildings throughout France. He worked extensively in Paris—the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, and the Hotel de Ville—and in Amiens, Poitiers, Lyon, and Rouen. Classical mythology and allegories were his principal themes.

Puvis often employed the fresco technique, approximating the appearance of ancient Roman wall paintings or Renaissance murals. He used dry paint to heighten the effect of age. Eugène Delacroix was among Puvis' teachers, but it was not until 1859 that the younger artist gained acceptance at the Paris Salon. Puvis went on to become a knight of the Légion d'Honneur in 1867 and a commander in 1889.



High School

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