Inter artes et naturam (Between Art and Nature)
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (French, 1824–1898)
Oil on canvas; 15 7/8 x 44 3/4 in. (40.3 x 113.7 cm)
Signed (lower right): P.Puvis de Chavannes
Gift of Mrs. Harry Payne Bingham, 1958 (58.15.2)
The growth of Puvis's reputation as a decorative painter was aided by his practice of exhibiting smaller versions of the mural-size works that he painted for public buildings throughout France. Inter artes et naturam is a reduced replica of the central panel of a triptych painted for the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, in 1888–91. The artist chose the program, basing it on the museum's collections of antiquities and locally produced ceramics and pottery. The scene shows men excavating classical architectural fragments, and women decorating pottery on the hillside of Bonsecours, a suburb of Rouen. In the distance are the Seine and a panoramic view of the city.