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William Bouguereau

The Greatest French, Academic  Romantic Painter of All Time


Artistically Influenced by the Following Painters and Art Movements - Raphael, and Michelangelo,

Education -Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France

William Bouguereau Biography

Adolphe-William Bouguereau was born in the picturesque French village of La Rochelle in 1825. His families financial problems and hardships forced  young William to work at a variety of  jobs while attending the prestiguous Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Often friends would spy the the worn-out painter toiling away all night on a painting and then without even an hour of sleep go to work at the local wine merchant shop and work another 10 hours.  The artist once declared "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 morning to come...My work is not only a pleasure, it has become a necessity. No matter how many other things I have in my life, if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable." At the age of 26, Adolphe-William Bouguereau was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1851 with his magnificent romantic masterpiece Baudry.

 William Bouguereau was well loved for his generosity and kind heart. He was always willing to help bright students and misguided youth. The painter stated "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."

According to his biographer, Mary Schell Hoke Bacon, "All Bouguereau's opportunities in life were made by himself, by his own genius. No one gave him anything; he earned all. He longed to go to Italy, and in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts he won the Prix de Rome, which made possible a journey to the land of great artists. The French Government began to buy his work, and he began to receive commissions to decorate walls in great buildings; thus, gradually, he made for himself fame and fortune."

Explanation of  William Bouguereau French Academic Painting Style

William Bouguereau was heavily influenced by the uncompromising academic standards set forth by the French Académie des Beaux-Arts. French Academic Classicism endeavored to join together the 
Neoclassicism and Romanticism styles into one perfect style. William Bouguereau observed, "When will the day come when I can do something worthy of a grown man? How many things must I yet learn before reaching that stage!"

The greatest painters associated with Academic Classicism, William Bouguereau, Paul Delaroche and Jean-Leon Gerome, had an extraordinary way of capturing nature's passionate, "feral" qualities and yet, at the same time, create in the viewer an almost inspirational feeling of harmony and serenity. High drama, blithe sophistication, and unrequited passion characterize this magnificent painting style.

Famous Painters of Academic Classicists Movement

 Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky, 1817-1900

Adolphe-William  Bouguereau1825-1905

Charles Emile August  Carolus-Duran, 1837-1917

Leon Francois Comerre,  1850-1916

Pierre-Auguste  Cot 1837-1883

Thomas Couture, 1815-1879

Paul Delaroche 1797-1856

Eugene Fromentin,  1820-1876

Jean Leon Gerome,  1824-1904

 Jean-Paul Laurens1838-1921

 Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel,  1839-1929

Luc Olivier Merson,  1846-1920

Hans Makart,  1840 - 1884

Giulio Rosati,  1858-1917

 Franz Xavier  Winterhalter, 1805-1873

William Clarke Wontner, 1857-1930

Fritz  Zuber-Buhler, 1822-1896

Characteristics, Descriptive Words and Phrases related to
Academic Classicism Painting Style - Classicism, rigid Academic standards, ancient Greece, Roman art, Herculaneum, Pompeii discoveries, neoclassicism, romantic movement, portrait painting,  exotic settings, European academies, French Académie des Beaux-Arts, Romanticism, academism, academicism, accademic training, highly romantic, inspired by historical and mythological stories, L'art pompier, the Grand Tour, eclecticism, classical realism, historicism, 19th century, syncretism, academician, Victorian Classicism


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