Bouguereau: Body of Work

Figure 1.-- This Breton peasant painting was also done in 1871. This one shows a peasant mother with her young son.

Much of Bouguereau's work was classical and genre scenes. Interest in the classics presumably came from his uncle's teaching. He tended to emphasize the female body in his classical works. We are less sure about what sparked his interest in genre scenes. Perhapd as a boy he went with his father into the country side. We note a number of Breton genre scenes, including peasant children, are well represented in his body of work. A good example is the painting on the precious page from the Metropolitan collection (New York). Bouguereau painred this work in 1871. It is entitled "Frère et Soeur Bretons" (Breton Brother and Sister). We note a similar painting also done in 1871. This one shows a peasant mother with her young son (figure 1). A reader tells us, "The lack of clothing can be an aesthetic element, but it has also an historic base. It was not uncommon in the 19th and even the early-20th century for little peasant children not to wear clothing suring the hot summer days. There are evidences for Italian countryside, but I think that in France and other European Countries were the same." A French reader writes, "Your reader is right. In France even durng the 20th century during the Summer one could see children without garments or shoes at home but never in the town. In our culture that would mean poverty. A factor with this portrait is that in France until the 1950s this was a traditional format for a portrait of a younger child. The parents were proud to sent it at the familly, specialy to the grand-mothers. Currently these portraits could be hanging at the wall. I have portraits like this of both my mother and father when they were little." A large number of major art museums have Bouguereau's works in their collections. He was amazingly prolific, prouducing an almost unbelievable 826 paintings.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main Bouguereau page]
[Return to the Main individual A-F artist alphabetical page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Artists] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Girls]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing artistic pages:
[Return to the Main artistic page]
[Chronologies] [Individuals] [National] [Styles]

Created: 5:21 PM 12/21/2009
Last updated: 5:21 PM 12/21/2009