French painter Pierre-Auguste Cot’s "Le Printemps” (“Springtime”) spins a lush fantasy of romance and passion. The year he painted the piece, Cot (1837 – 1883) exhibited it at the Paris Salon, where it was wildly acclaimed. Throughout the following decades, the artwork came to symbolize 19th-century emotions and taste. It has been reproduced millions of times on household items, greeting cards and posters. Originally purchased by a wealthy industrialist, this piece was bought and sold several times, and then lost. The painting surfaced 41 years later, and is now owned by a private collector.
Pierre-Auguste Cot (1837 – 1833) was an academic French artist acclaimed for creating lavishly romantic, sensual works. Cot is known for his ethereal historical and mythological paintings, particularly two idealistic classics, “Le Printemps” (“Springtime”) and “The Storm.” Cot was also a highly popular portrait artist among the Parisian aristocracy. He studied at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse under luminaries Leon Cogniet, Alexandre Cabanel, and William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and was strongly influenced by Neoclassicism and Romanticism. One of Cot’s paintings is on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many of his works grace Paris’ Louvre.