|'Head of A Young Girl' (1898) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau; Private Collection|
Before doing this art blog I had never heard of French Realist painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau, born on 30 November 1825 and died on 19 August 1905. But browsing for painters on other blogs and websites, made me come across this painter numerous times. Sweet scenes of angels and children (especially this one) passed by very frequently as did this image of today's painting that I came to like very much. Bouguereau studied at L'École des Beaux Arts in Paris where he got his traditional academic training. In 1850, he was awarded a prize which enabled him to study in Italy for four years. He studied the work of Giotto and of the Renaissance masters. He was also very impressed by classical art. The influence of classical works is very evident in his work after this period. His romanticised Realism and highly finished style would become his trademark. Although he was held in high regard by his contemporaries, his work was viewed as mediocre by the new generation of painters who were experimenting with Impressionism. These painters opposed his sentimentality and his high technical finish. Sentimental or not, there is a lot of his work that I like and especially today's painting.