William-Adolphe Bouguereau was born on November 30, 1825 in La Rochelle, France. He was an academic painter who painted traditionally, creating realistic works but often weaving mythological and Christian themes into his pieces. He was careful to use props to convey subtle but symbolic messages. He loved his trade and said, “Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come … if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable.”^1 It is not surprising that he created more than 800 paintings.
Bouguereau was quite influential and enjoyed much fame and admiration by his fellow countrymen. He used his influence in part to open multiple art academies. He taught lessons to thousands of pupils from around the world, many of whom went on to be successful artists. One was Elizabeth Jane Gardner, whom he married.
Below are shown more examples of his work.
To see more of Bouguereau’s work, click here: