• P
  • Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

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Vigilance Dated 1867
Puvis de Chavannes’s muted palette and flat, decorative forms had an important influence on French symbolism in the late 1880s and 1890s. This is a version of 'La Vigilance' (Vigilance) which was one of four decorative panels commissioned by the writer and sculptress Claude Vignon, alias Noémie Cadiot, for her house at 148 rue de la Tour in Paris. The mural scheme featured four allegorical figures intended to represent the principal elements of artistic creation: Vigilance, Meditation, History and Fantasy. The flame, which Vigilance holds aloft against a new dawn, symbolises the moment of artistic inspiration.

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.


A flat, rigid surface usually made from wood or metal, on which a painting is made. Prior to the introduction of canvas, most paintings in Europe were executed on wood.

Commission, Panel


  • Acc. No. NG 1739
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 106.00 x 53.20 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1929