Ferdinand Puigaudeau (French, born circa 1930)

Ferdinand du Puigaudeau (French, 1864–1930), nicknamed Picolo, was an Impressionist painter best known for his paintings of country life and sunsets. Born in Nantes, France, Puigaudeau began his artistic career studying in the classical tradition and traveling to Italy and Tunisia. In 1886, he met Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903), Émile Bernard (French, 1868–1941), and Charles Laval (French, 1862–1894) while attending what would later become the famous École de Pont-Aven in Brittany. He joined Belgian artists Guillaume Vogels (1836–1896), Jan Toorop (1858–1928), and James Ensor (1860–1949) in the Groupe des XX, befriended American painters Lovell Birge Harrison (1854–1929) and Childe Hassam (1858–1935), and was a close friend of Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917) who bought one of his Fireworks paintings. Puigaudeau was also influenced by Realist sculptor Constantin Meunier (Belgian, 1831–1905). The artist has been associated with different styles, including Impressionism, Symbolism, and Romanticism, and his work has been compared to that of the American Luminist painter Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900) and German artist Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Puigaudeau enjoyed painting nocturnal scenes, fireworks, sunsets, dusk scenes, and country fairs, and towards the end of his life turned to sunlit landscapes. He exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1890, with the support of dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, and at the Galerie des Artistes Modernes in 1903. Exhibitions of his work have been held at the Musée des Jacobins in France, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper in France, among other institutions. His work is held by several permanent collections, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper in France, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.


In 1886, like many young artists du Puigaudeau settled in Pont Aven, the small Breton village that had become a popular destination for aspiring artists. It was here that he met Paul Gaugin, with whom he struck up an immediate and lasting friendship. Gaugin nicknamed him Piccolo and invited him to accompany him on his first trip to the South seas in1887. By the early 1900s du Puigaudeau had held an exhibition at the Galerie des Artistes Moderne in Paris and counted Edgar Degas amongst his patrons and was represented by the legendary dealer