Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau
Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau
Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau

Réflexion by William Adolphe Bouguereau

  • This oil on canvas is the work of the French Academic painter William Adolphe Bouguereau
  • The legendary artist is renowned for his portrayals of the idealized human figure
  • Masterfully composed, Réflexion reveals the artist’s remarkable skills as a draftsman
  • Paintings of young women such as this are among Bouguereau's finest compositions
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Item No. 31-1102
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description
William Adolphe Bouguereau
1825-1905 | French

Réflexion
(Reflection)

Signed and dated "W-Bouguereau-1898" (lower right)
Oil on canvas

This exceptional oil on canvas is the work of the legendary French Academic painter William Adolphe Bouguereau, an artist renowned for his portrayals of the idealized human figure. Through the study of ancient Greek statuary, Bouguereau mastered the balance between the static medium and the dynamic subject that give his portraits an amazing realism. Réflexion is a perfect illustration of this technique. From the rendering of her hands and drapery to the contemplative expression of his model, he empowers his subject with a vitality and gravity that radiates from the canvas.

Masterfully composed in the Academic style, Réflexion reveals the artist’s remarkable skills as a draftsman. A student of the great Neoclassical artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, his painting technique boasts an unsurpassed degree of finish and luminous coloration, distinctive hallmarks of the French Academy. Faultlessly composed down to the smallest detail, his model epitomizes the Academic ideals of pastoral innocence. Bouguereau’s handling of his subject displays an especially unique sensitivity; his tender paintings of mothers, children and young women are among his finest creations.

Bouguereau is unquestionably one of history's greatest artistic geniuses, and he became one of the most decorated artists of the 19th century. He received medals from the Salons and Universal Expositions, successive ranks in the prestigious Legion of Honor, and was the leading member of the Institute of France and President of the Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. He so dominated the Salons of his era that the official Salon became affectionately known as ‘Le Salon Bouguereau.’

He never wavered from the Academic traditions of his teachers, and his conservative style made him immensely popular among the artistic establishment. Therefore, he enjoyed many prestigious commissions during his lifetime, such as an invitation to decorate public buildings including the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux and Saint Augustin in Paris. Today, his works can be found in important collections around the world, including the Louvre (Paris), J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

This important work is pictured on page 407 of William Bouguereau: His Life and Works, 2010, by D. Bartoli and F. Ross.

Dated 1898

Canvas: 43 1/2" high x 26 3/4" wide
Frame: 63" high x 46" wide
specifications
Artist: Bouguereau, William Adolphe
Framed:46.0"W x 63.0"H
Unframed:26.75"W x 43.5"H
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Subject:Portrait
Depth:6.75
Width:46.0
Height:63.0
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