Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bouguereau & His Milieu

The Hirschl & Adler Gallery of New York City is currently hosting a small exhibition of William Bouguereau's work, as well as a few pieces of his contemporaries, entitled "Bouguereau & His Milieu". The show is extremely small, just eight pieces, but the opportunity to see five Bouguereau paintings in a single room is quite rare and definitely warrants the visit. Though I have not seen it yet, I would assume it also presents the seldom seen opportunity to view these paintings up close. At large exhibitions, curators tend to hang the Bouguereau's so annoyingly high, all you can admire are the toes.

The show hangs from March 31st - April 30th, 2011. The Hirschl & Adler Gallery is located in the Crown Building, at 730 Fifth Avenue, New York,  NY.

As usual, thanks to Matthew Innes for tipping me off to this. Matthew's blog is the 'go-to' spot for upcoming gallery shows, especially those based on figurative realism.


  1. Exciting news, one of the greatest painters in history in my opinion. Inspired flesh tones, subtle, absolute tonal control, mastery of anatomy and emotion. Strange thing, I never heard of him or saw one of his paintings until the creation of the ARC museum online.

  2. Thanks... I think I'll actually be able to catch this.

  3. When I studied art in college I spoke to one of my instructors about William Bouguereau and his works. My instuctor told me that Bougeureau's artwork was considered "kitsch." I never understood why because I see true talent whenever I look at his work and have been a fan ever since. I wish I could see a few of his originals in person.

  4. Actually Chris, Bouguereau was the top artist of his time. It wasn't until after he died that people started to ignore his works in favor of other "styles" of painting.

  5. "He glides tippy-toe over the still water, a spray of delicate green leaves fortuitously concealing his pubescent weenie as his rosebud lips whistle a plaintive melody" Yes, Adolphe had enough chops to log most of Canada single-handed. One of my favorite paintings of his is luckily at the Chicago Art Institute, two life-size nude women on a rocky seashore.

  6. Christina, I remember being impressed by that same painting, "The Bathers", when I was younger and had no clue who anyone was. It was only last year as I visited the Chicago Art Institute that I came upon that painting again and noticed it was Bouguereau. It's so much more fun to visit museums when you have an idea of the history behind the paintings :)

  7. But he does paint the best toes!

    The Clark Institute in MA also has a nice Bouguereau pieces. Gerome and Sargent, as well. Well worth the trip if you're able to make the trek.

  8. Chris Sims, I come from a Fine Art university background, and had much the same experience. Bougereau was always described as "academic" and at York university, there was no greater insult to a work of art.

    As JJacks says, in his lifetime the view of is work was different to what's considered important when looking back through the lens of time.

    I love his work. Here at the Art Gallery of Ontario, we have but one partially complete face, and the area where the brushstrokes begin is as immaculately perfect as the center of the completed area. The man painted nothing in halves.

  9. No-one ever painted better toes than Bouguereau.

  10. one of my favorite themes in paintings is angels I have a huge collection of angels paintings and I love how different artists show their ideas about the stereotype of angels in paintings


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