Monument to Puvis de Chavannes

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    Monument to Puvis de Chavannes

    Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

    In 1891, Rodin made a bust of his friend Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898), a great mural painter and one of the most famous artists of his time (together with Monet and Rodin himself). De Chavannes died in 1898, and Rodin was commissioned for a memorial soon afterwards. He created a curious assemblage of pre-existing figures and objects: the painter’s bust was placed on two capitals, one on top of the other on a table; leaning towards the bust was a large Spirit of Eternal Repose (also known as Funerary Spirit) picking apples from a tree, symbolizing the painter’s fame and his well-deserved peace after death.

    The reference to antiquity, prominent in the work of Puvis de Chavannes, dominates this bold installation: the superposition of architectural elements suggests the stacked remains at archaeological sites, while the Spirit was derived from a classical sculpture in the Louvre. Although Rodin never finished the monument, it may have been a source of inspiration for the extraordinary Surrealist Table (1933) by Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966).

    Locate the artwork in the museum

    Musée Rodin - Meudon, plaster gallery

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    Completion date :

    1899-1903

    Dimensions :

    H. 187 cm; W. 110 cm; D. 76.5 cm

    Materials :

    Plaster model, wire and plaster-coated fabric

    Inventory number :

    S.05417 (model) and S.06637 (Head of Puvis de Chavannes)

    Credits :

    © Photographic Agency of musée Rodin - Jérome Manoukian

    Resources

    Iconography

    • Monument to Puvis de Chavannes(zip, 2359.7 ko)