B is for Bouguereau (Adolphe-William)
(November 30, 1825 - August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter. 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.
"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 morning to come... if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable."
In painting, I am an idealist. I see only the In painting, Ikkkk am an idealist. I see only the beautiful in art and, for me, art is the beautiful. Why I
"One shouldn't believe in all those so-called innovations. There is only one nature and only one way to see it. Nowadays, they want to succeed too fast, this is how they go about inventing new aesthetics, pointillism, pipisme! All this is just to make noise." ~ Adolfe-William Bouguereau
"In painting, I am an idealist. I see only the beautiful in art and, for me, art is the beautiful. Why reproduce what is ugly in nature?"
Note: one of the reasons I am so fond of this painting is because it hangs at one of my favorite museums, The Clarke, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It is a huge canvas that dwarfs everything else in the room, not only because of its size but also its beauty. I don't usually go for idealized depictions of beauty but this Bougeureau in particular, is an exception.
"First one has to love nature with all ones heart and soul, and be able to study and admire it for hours on end. Everything is in nature. A plant, a leaf, a blade of grass, should be the subjects of infinite and fruitful meditations; for the artist, a cloud floating in the sky has form, and the form affords him joy, helps him think."
"One is born an artist. The artist is a man endowed with a special nature, with a particular feeling for seeing form and color spontaneously, as a whole, in perfect harmony. If one lacks that feeling, one is not an artist and will never become an artist; and it is a waste of time to entertain the possibility."