Bouguereau, Adolphe-William

One has to seek Beauty and Truth, Sir! As I always say to my pupils, you have to work to the finish. There's only one kind of painting. It is the painting that presents the eye with perfection, the kind of beautiful and impeccable enamel you find in Veronese and Titian.
-- Adolphe-William Bouguereau, 1895

Adolphe-William Bouguereau (1825-1905)

Image Bouguereau in his studio

As a young man, Bouguereau put himself through the Ecole des Beaux-Arts by keeping books for a wine merchant and coloring lithographic labels for a local grocer. In his spare time, late in the evening, he created drawings from memory. This diligence and discipline resulted in an extrordinarily productive artistic life. Bouguereau produced more than seven hundred finished works and achieved a remarkable level of public acclaim and financial success. He never forgot his difficult early days, however; working secretly, he assisted young artists who were struggling as he had to pursue an artistic career in the face of financial difficulties.

Like many painters of the second half of the 19th century, Bouguereau made a careful study of form and technique and steeped himself in classical sculpture and painting. True to his serious and industrious nature, he worked deliberately and industriously: before beginning a painting he would master the history of his subject and complete numerous sketches.

The tenderness with which he portrayed children and domestic scenes, his technical skill and passion for the classics, and his love of rich color are hallmarks of Bouguereau's exquisite paintings.

Image La Danse
1850 (50 Kb)

Image Le Printemps (The Return of Spring)
1866 (50 Kb)

Image The Knitting Girl
1869 (30 Kb)

Image The First Kiss
1873 (20 Kb)

Image Nymphs and Saytr
1873 (10 Kb)

Image Cupidon
1875 (30 Kb); Bridgeman Art Library at London

Image The Birth of Venus
1879 (90 Kb); Oil on canvas, 300 x 218 cm; Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image Evening Mood
1882 (50 Kb)

Image Crown of Flowers
1884 (20 Kb)

Image The Shepherdess
1889 (50 Kb)

Image The Little Shepherdess
1891 (30 Kb)

Image Invading Cupid's Realm
1892 (20 Kb)

Image L'innocence
1893 (30 Kb)

Image The Abduction of Psyche
1895 (50 Kb)

Image The Young Shepherdess
1895 (60 Kb)

Image The Virgin With Angels
1900 (30 Kb)

Image Young Priestess
1902 (30 Kb)

Image The Madonna of the Roses
1903 (80 Kb)

Contributors: Mark Harden, Brian Yoder, Carol Gerten-Jackson, John F. Brenner.

17 Sep 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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