Browse by Title

Title: : 1 of 1

The Pastoral Life of Saint Geneviève, 1879

Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes

French, 1824-1898
Oil on canvas, triptych
Left (Panel A): 53 x 32-1/4 in. (134.6 x 81.9 cm), Center (Panel B): 53 x 35-1/8 in. (134.6 x 89.2 cm), Right (Panel C): 52-3/4 x 32-1/4 (134 x 81.9 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1968.49.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes was the master of large-scale decorative painting. His immense canvases adorned many public and private buildings, and he established new ideals for mural decoration. In 1874, a campaign was launched to decorate the interior of the Panthéon, the National Shrine to the French heroes. Puvis was appointed to create a mural cycle depicting the youth of St. Geneviève, patron saint of Paris. This triptych is a reduced version of the lower section of that cycle. The central panel depicts the moment when St. Germain of Auxerre and St. Loup of Troyes recognize Geneviève as divinely marked. The two side panels represent the imagined rural community of the saint's childhood. The artist's flat, slightly modeled figures and pale, chalky colors were a departure from naturalistic appearances. This work is typical of his simplification of form and dream-like, poetic mood.

View Provenance

Audio Listen to an excerpt from the audio tour

 

Audio Listen to an excerpt from the audio tour

 


Title: : 1 of 1