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Lifespan: 1825 - 1905
Nationality: French painter
Gender: male
Collection: 244 paintings

William Bouguereau was a painter who belonged to the academic school of painting and was born in 1825 in La Rochelle. Very little is known about his personal life or his family history, however, it is known that he won the prestigious Prix de Rome (translates to: Prize of Rome) in 1850 after attending the École de Beaux Arts. His works were in direct opposition to the works of the Impressionists which were hugely popular in the final period of his career, so although the status of his work declined in popularity, it remained well-respected as the work of one of the best artists in the world during the era in which he lived. Despite his great fame during his lifetime, his names and works were largely forgotten by the 1920s, despite the fact that many collectors had paid millions for his works only several decades before. The paintings of William Bouguereau were displayed each year at the Salon in France, a definite feat for any artist to be included in each year’s representations of shows. He truly became one of the most famous artists of the nineteenth century and many collectors were placed on waitlists for nearly a year before arriving at the opportunity to purchase an authentic William Bouguereau oil painting. However, millions of reproduction copies were produced for fans of William Bouguereau who could not afford his canvases price tags in the millions of dollars. Another unique aspect of the career of Bouguereau is that despite his creation of nearly eight-hundred paintings over the course of his artistic career, he only took commissions a few times early in his life because he felt that his paintings were something that he should paint for himself and that the work would not approach the same level of quantity if its specifics were dictated to him by a patron. Critics have also analyzed this tendency as a way to keep his fame high and elevated over the people who desired his work since the only person who he worked for, was in effect, himself. The formal qualities of William Bouguereau’s work that made him so famous in the eyes of millions was the level of technical mastery that he achieved in representing the subjects of his paintings. He worked in the style of tradition and worked nearly constantly each day. He occasionally possessed a moral tone in the creation of his paintings. In the oil paintings of William Bouguereau, he practiced from the example of the masters and advocated the technique as an effective way to begin an artistic career. Though he was not necessarily progressive in the style of his painting, William Bougeureau’s ideas about women’s places in art were. His second wife was a painter which probably inspired his belief that women should be allowed to attend the prestigious art schools which were more often than not, restricted to the education of men. Some of the most famous William Bouguereau oil paintings are: Nymphs and Satyr, The Knitting Girl, La Danse, Dante and Virgil in Hell, and The Return of Spring.


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A La Fontaine Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

A La Fontaine

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A Portrait Of Amelina Dufaud Bouguereau Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

A Portrait Of Amelina Dufaud Bouguereau

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A Portrait Of Eugene Bouguereau Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

A Portrait Of Eugene Bouguereau

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A Portrait Of Genevieve Bouguereau Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

A Portrait Of Genevieve Bouguereau

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A Portrait Of Leonie Bouguereau Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

A Portrait Of Leonie Bouguereau

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Admiration Maternelle Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Admiration Maternelle

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Alma Parens Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Alma Parens

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Amour A Laffut Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Amour A Laffut

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Apres Le Bain Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Apres Le Bain

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Apres Le Bain 1875 Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Apres Le Bain 1875

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At The Edge Of The River Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

At The Edge Of The River

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Au Bord Du Ruisseau Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Au Bord Du Ruisseau

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Avant Le Bain Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Avant Le Bain

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Baigneuse 1870 Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Baigneuse 1870

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Baigneuse Accroupie Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Baigneuse Accroupie

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Berceuse Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Berceuse

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Bergere Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Bergere

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Bergere 1886 Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Bergere 1886

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Biblis Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Biblis

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Bohemienne Au Tambour De Basque Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Bohemienne Au Tambour De Basque

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Branche De Laurier Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Branche De Laurier

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Breton Brother and Sister 1871 Paintings | Adolphe William Bouguereau paintings

Breton Brother and Sister 1871

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Brother And Sister Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Brother And Sister

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Calinerie Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Calinerie

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Compassion Paintings | William Bouguereau paintings

Compassion

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