William Bouguereau Term Paper

Pages: 3 (870 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)


Yet, from the beginning of World War I to the 1980's, the number of people in America and Europe who had ever been exposed to the name of William Bouguereau, much less see his work, was extremely rare (Bartoli pp). In fact, only a handful of people had ever had the opportunity to see a single photograph of his work, let alone the real thing (Bartoli pp). As Damien Bartoli points out, references to his work could only be found in tiny black -- and white images offered in old dictionaries and art books (Bartoli pp). Moreover, among the scarce paintings in French public collections, none were exhibited, but rather they were rolled up or carelessly stored with other equally despised academic paintings (Bartoli pp).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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"A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros" was probably painted around 1880, and is an oil on canvas, measuring 31 1/4 x 21 5/8 inches (Young pp). The painting depicts a young nude woman, sitting with her arms outstretched, as if she is pushing away the winged boy, Eros, or Cupid (Young pp). The god of love is holding up an arrow that is aimed directly at the young woman, who looks as if she is trying to defend herself against him, but at the same time is smiling, suggesting that her struggle is merely pretend (Young pp). This painting is a beautiful example of Bouguereau's love of Greek mythology and his trained artistic skill, as evident in the portrayal of Eros and the subtle Arcadian landscape in the background (William pp). It is said that he made this composition in his studio, using the neighboring French countryside for the landscape and supposedly one of his favorite models (William pp). Although the painting is intended to be Eros attempting to prick the young woman with his arrow, the posture of the subjects also resemble a young child trying to climb into his mother's lap. If the wings and arrow were removed from Eros, the painting might well portray a young mother and child, and the child, perhaps still playful from a bath, is demanding his mother's attention. In fact, the drape across the young woman's legs even looks like a towel that she has just used to dry herself. And although, still joyful herself, she is discouraging her child from further play. There is such distinction, such clarity, and such perfection in detail, that this painting deceives the eye that it could be a photograph.

With the exception of Alexandre Cabanel, William-Adolphe Bouguereau was the most influential advocate of French academic art, who [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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William Bouguereau.  (2005, October 16).  Retrieved July 31, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/william-bouguereau-regarded/347819

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"William Bouguereau."  16 October 2005.  Web.  31 July 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/william-bouguereau-regarded/347819>.

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"William Bouguereau."  Essaytown.com.  October 16, 2005.  Accessed July 31, 2021.