Inter artes et naturam (Between Art and Nature)

Artist: Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (French, Lyons 1824–1898 Paris)

Date: ca. 1890–95

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 15 7/8 x 44 3/4 in. (40.3 x 113.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Harry Payne Bingham, 1958

Accession Number: 58.15.2

Description

Puvis made this small-scale replica after the central panel of a triptych he painted for the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen in 1888–90. The program draws inspiration from the museum’s collection of antiquities and locally produced ceramics and pottery. Here, men excavate classical architectural fragments and women decorate earthenware on the hillside of Bonsecours, a suburb of Rouen. A panoramic view of the city and the Seine River unfolds in the distance. The exhibition of such copies was instrumental in bringing attention to Puvis’s many mural commissions for public buildings in France; this one was first shown in Pittsburgh in 1898.

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