William-Adolphe Bouguereau

The French painter Bouguereau finds a place on these pages because of the closeness in spirit of his work to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

He was born at La Rochelle, studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts (1843-50), and then worked under Picot. He shared the Grand Prix de Rome in 1850 (with Baudry) for his picture Zenobie Found. He followed this with pictures on themes drawn widely from classical mythology, the Bible and from contemporary life. Important pictures include St. Cecilia (Triumph of the Martyr) (1855), Philomena and Procne (1861) and The Youth of Bacchus (1885). He was admired for his colouring, modelling and draughtsmanship, and won many honours.

Bouguereau's wife and former student, Elizabeth Gardinier Bouguereau (1851-1922) was also an artist, specialising in figure compositions.

Bouguereau's work was widely known in England from engravings. His large oil painting Charity is at Birmingham.

Top of page

Other artists

Home