Pierre Puvis De Chavannes was studying from Amiens College and at the Lycée Henri IV in Paris and was expected to take after his father's profession when a serious illness curtailed his studies. For two years he convalesced with his brother and sister-in-law at Mâcon. After recuperating in 1845 a voyage to Italy opened his mind to fresh ideas, and on his arrival back to Paris in 1846, he announced his intention to become a painter. He first studied with Eugène Delacroix and Henri Scheffer, and then under Thomas Couture.
Since he liked to work alone, his training was not in the traditional manner. He took a huge studio close to the Gare de Lyon and attended life classes at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. A few years later, the government of France bought one of his artworks, and Pierre Puvis De Chavannes gained wide recognition because of it.
Pierre Puvis De Chavannes had four works displayed, the Dead Christ, Negro Boy, The Reading Lesson, and Portrait of a Man at his first Salon appearance in 1850.
His work is viewed as Symbolist, despite the fact he studied with some of the Romantics, and he is credited with impacting a whole era of painters and, especially the works of the Modernists. Throughout his career, Puvis received a considerable number of commissions for works in public and private institutions throughout France.
Puvis's career was tied up with the entangled deliberation that had been continuous since the start of the Third Republic. The question was the character of France and the meaning of 'Frenchness'. Royalists felt that the upheaval of 1789 had been a massive debacle and that France had been thrown off base, while the Republicans felt that the Revolution had enabled France to return to its actual course. Numerous researchers of Pierre Puvis De Chavannes works have noticed that his prosperity as a 'painter for France' was generally because of his capacity to make works which were pleasant to the numerous ideologies in existence at this time.
Many of his works are characterized by their wink to classical art, unmistakable in the carefully balanced compositions, and the subject matter is frequently an immediate reference to dreams of Hellenistic Greece, especially in the case of Antique Vision.
Pierre Puvis De Chavannes was president and co-founder in 1890 of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. It turned into the predominant salon of art at the time and held exhibitions of contemporary art that was chosen by a jury made out of the officers of the Société.
Beginning in 1926, The Prix Puvis de Chavannes was awarded by the National Society of Fine Arts. The Prix Puvis de Chavannes is the retrospective exhibition in Paris of the main works of artist awarded the prize that year.
Art Movement: Symbolism.
Artists Influencing Puvis De Chavannes: Eugene Delacroix, Henri Scheffer, Thomas Couture.
He Traveled To Italy.
Painters Pierre Puvis De Chavannes Influenced: Georges de Feure, Hans Hofmann, Auguste Rodin.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.