Thursday, January 18, 2018

William Bouguereau (1895)

 William Bouguereau: Pleasant Burden
 William Bouguereau: In Penitence
William Bouguereau: Just a Taste

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Reader (1895)

William Bouguereau: La Liseuse [The Reader]

In La Liseuse Bouguereau features a young peasant girl sitting on a simple stone bench, one schoolbook open in her hands and a small pile of others by her side. Many artists in the nineteenth century created idealized images of the simple, honest life of the peasant as a form of reassurance in the rapidly industrializing modern world. Every summer Bouguereau would travel to the country and after months of relentless painting, bring back six to eight finished canvases. He found his young models, including the present one, in towns such as La Rochelle, a seaport in western France on the Bay of Biscay. La Rochelle had strong personal associations for the artist, as not only the place of his birth, but also the town where he chose to spend the last years of his life. The model featured here appears in a number of Bouguereau's work from 1893 onwards, along with the sisters Jeanne and Marguerite. In La Liseuse she is pictured with a playful look on her face as she glances up from her studies. Bouguereau depicts the same subject in Distraction, yet even though the model is his housekeeper's daughter, he shows her as a middle-class young lady. [Sotheby’s]

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Le Cadre Noir a Paris (1895)

Pierre Gavarni: Le Cadre Noir a Paris devant  la Tribune Presidentielle

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

An Ouled Naïl Tribal Dancer (1895)

Georges Jules Victor Clairin: An Ouled Naïl Tribal Dancer

The Ouled Naïl are Algerian Berber tribespeople famous for their elaborate dress and dances.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Truth Coming out of the Well (1895)

Jean-Léon Gérôme: Truth Coming out of the Well, 
Armed with a Whip to Punish Mankind

Monday morning usually greets the world like the woman in this painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme.  The figure of truth emerges from a well holding a scourge with which to shame and punish humankind.  The image makes literal reference to a saying by the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC): “Truth lies at the bottom of a well."  Some have interpreted the painting as a reference to the Dreyfus affair, while others discuss the it in the context of a quote by Gérôme that "thanks to photography, Truth has finally left her well.” – [WTF Art History]