Reduced version of the 1861 painting in the Musée de Picardie, Amiens; companion to War in the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art (Cat. 1063), and the paintings Work and Rest, in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, French, 1824 - 1898
This painting depicts the societal advantages of peace played out in an idyllic landscape, where antique figures rest or engage in pleasant tasks, milking goats or collecting fruit. The image of bounty is drawn from descriptions in Virgil’s fourth Eclogue of a golden age, a harmonious future when “unbidden, the goats will bring home their udders swollen with milk.” This is a reduced version of a much larger picture from Puvis’s first public mural project, which comprised four allegories of human states—including War, Work, and Repose—acquired by the French government to decorate the Musée de Napoléon in Amiens, France.