William Adolphe Bouguereau

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1825 to 1905, was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honours, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde.By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favour with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980's, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown. In his own time, Bouguereau was considered to be one of the greatest painters in the world by the academic art community. Near the end of his life he described his love of his art: "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"
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