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William-Adolphe Bouguereau - French Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 - 1905)

William-Adolphe Bouguereau studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Art from 1843 and 1850 and won the Prix de Rome upon finishing his training. Upon his return to France, he decorated several houses with the inspiration deriving from the frescoes in Pompeii. Bouguereau was given a medal of honor at an exhibition in Paris in 1878 and again at the 1885 Salon. As the Impressionist style was developing, he held fast to the traditional values of French art and retained Classical, mythological, and allegorical subject matters. Bouguereau’s paintings contained the conservative ideas that Impressionist movement hoped to stifle. Bouguereau was a staunch traditionalist whose realistic genre paintings and mythological themes were modern interpretations of Classical subjects with a heavy emphasis on the female human body. Although he created an idealized world, his almost photo-realistic style was popular with rich art patrons. He was very famous in his time but today his subject matter and technique receive relatively little attention compared to the popularity of the Impressionists. Today, over one hundred museums throughout the world exhibit Bouguereau's works.

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