William-Adolphe Bouguereau lived during the 1800s. He painted mythological subjects in a realistic way and was widely approved of during his life, making money at first by designing labels for jams and preserves.

The bodies he paints are just as they should be: smooth, round, soft, devoid of any blemishes, the women especially are lovely to look at. I, however, not only like how pleasing they are – I like how in so many paintings there is an element of disturbance, little mischievous characters flapping around the main focus of the painting. Sometimes angels, sometimes simply other people, they swirl and this swirling reminds me exactly of how I feel when I am deep into multitasking mode. When I have too many things to think about, each thought can be extremely well understood if it’s imagined as a naughty winged creature tickling my face with its wings, twirling my hair or making me sneeze.

Cupid and Psyche
One of his most famous paintings – here is a detail of Cupid and Psyche. As children, of course.
The birth of Venus, surrounded by figures that are either adoring her or, as I believe, making her arrival into this world slightly more chaotic
Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825-1905)  LE OREADI
Les Oréades, mountain and cave nymphs. Echo is among them, and they seem anything but orderly.

The author’s comment to this particular painting of the nymphs is as follows:

Les ténèbres se dissipent ; radieuse l’aurore paraît et colore d’une teinte rose la cime des monts. Alors s’envole vers le ciel une longue théorie ; c’est la troupe joyeuse des Nymphes qui, pendant la nuit, prenaient leurs ébats à l’ombre des grands bois, au bord du fleuve aux eaux tranquilles ; elles quittent la terre, et, sous les yeux des faunes étonnés, regagnent leur patrie et les régions éthérées où habitent les dieux.

The Abduction of Psyche. She’s all grown up now, and doesn’t really seem to mind…does she?
The Wasp's Nest
The Wasp’s Nest. Is that one biting her calf?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: