Pierre Auguste Cot (17 February 1837 – 2 August
1883) was a French painter of the Academic Classicism school.
Life and career
Cot was born in Bédarieux, Hérault, and initially studied at l'Ecole des
Beaux-Arts in Toulouse before going to Paris. He studied under Leon Cogniet,
Alexandre Cabanel and William-Adolphe Bouguereau. In 1863 he made a successful
debut at the Salon, and from the 1870s, his popularity grew quickly.
Cot enjoyed the patronage of the academic sculptor Francisque Duret, whose
daughter he married, and of Bouguereau, with whom he had also worked. Bouguereau
painted a portrait of Cot's daughter, Gabrielle. Bouguereau had dined with the Cot
family to celebrate Gabrielle's marriage to an architect named Zilin. The artist
made a gift of the painting to the wife of Duret, Gabrielle's grandmother.
Cot won various prizes and medals, and in 1874 was made Chevalier of the Legion
He created several works of lasting popularity, including Le Printemps,
featuring two young lovers sitting upon a swing, and The Storm. Both these
paintings are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City;
The Storm belongs to the museum while Le Printemps is owned
Cot also was renowned for his portraits, which made up the majority of his work.
The more enduring figurative work, such as The Storm, is comparatively
rare. Shortly after his death at the age of forty-six (2 August 1883), a
subscription was undertaken for a commemorative monument to the artist, which was
erected at Bédarieux in 1892.
- Dionysia (1870), Chi-Mei Museum, Taiwan
- Ophelia (1870)
- The Gypsy or La Bohémienne (1871)
- Spring or Le Printemps (1873), Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York City
- The Storm or La Tempête (1880), Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York City
- The Reading Light or La Liseuse (about 1880)
- Portrait of Madame Mas (1882)
- Mireille (1882), Musée Fabre, Montpellier
- Charity for My Sister, Wolverhampton Art Gallery