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William-Adolphne Bouguereau Self Photograph
French, 1825-1905

A Master of Realism and Mythological Beauty

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905) was a highly acclaimed French academic painter known for his meticulously detailed and idealized portrayals of mythological, religious, and genre subjects. He gained widespread recognition and popularity during his lifetime for his skillful draftsmanship, exquisite use of light and color, and classical aesthetic. Bouguereau’s works, including “The Birth of Venus,” “The Nut Gatherers,” and “The Shepherdess,” often featured graceful figures with smooth, porcelain-like skin and displayed a remarkable level of technical proficiency. Although his style fell out of favor with the rise of Impressionism and modern art movements, Bouguereau’s art experienced a revival in the late 20th century, leading to renewed appreciation for his contributions to academic painting and his enduring influence on the art world.

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