"...absolutely SPEECHLESS after being engrossed in your masterpiece work showcasing Bouguereau in such a spectacular, fresh approach and in a manner deserved of the greatest artist that ever lived!"
Dear Mr. Ross,
WHY did it take me two days to email you about your Herculean accomplishment, namely the William Bouguereau Catalog Raissone? There is only one answer: my husband and I were absolutely SPEECHLESS after being engrossed in your masterpiece work showcasing Bouguereau in such a spectacular, fresh approach and in a manner deserved of the greatest artist that ever lived!
I will try to relay our thoughts into words...Your introduction is a superb work in itself, touching on many issues never approached by today's supposed art history scholars: ending rumors and outright lies about William Bouguereau as a "villain of the modernist movement"; stating the fact that this Bouguereau raissone is a "roadmap" for future historians; the chasm between cultural, societal and political history and art history; the irony of the importance of social and political issues of poverty, indigence, and the like, to writers contemporary to Bouguereau, yet those same subjects were considered by art critics to be banal, stylized, insipid and irrelevant for Bouguereau and his realist contemporaries.... an interesting juxtaposition...The all-too true "mindless standard" that ruined Realist art's reputation.
Your points are precise, affirmed by documented facts, and well taken by the reader; they set the tone for the two volume triumph. You are speaking to the reader, not at the reader, in a refreshing cadence unlike most verbose scholarly publications.
Stating at the end of your introduction that you expect this raissone to be met with controversy is an issue that you and the committee will certainly face with confidence. You stated in this enlightening introduction, that in writing this raissone, you and the Bouguereau Committee "let the chips fall where they may": they fell perfectly into place...
This set evokes emotions in the reader that perhaps you didn't anticipate: a deep desire to want to paint like Bouguereau, to be focused and dedicated to fine realist art as he was, to strive for perfection, along with expected reactions such as the utmost respect, awe, fascination, and appreciation of his amazing oil paintings.
Both volumes are beyond anything I ever hoped for concerning Bouguereau! The fact that such minute detail concerning each of his works was researched and documented by you and your committee is staggering. The fabulous research and documentation of facts concerning his personal and professional life has been eagerly awaited by all those who appreciate his work. The wonderful photographs of his young models are an informative presentation of their interesting little lives!
Combine that with THE MOST GORGEOUS photographs of the paintings by the master himself and one cannot put these volumes down! This set contains many Bouguereau paintings that most of us have never seen before, held in private collections and residences for many years, seen here for the first time. They leave the viewer awe-struck in their beauty, perfect composition, technical brilliance, and color palette.
Which brings me to my next point: your generosity, Mr. Ross. Not only by dedicating a portion of your life to the proper representation of William Bouguereau and his brilliant paintings contained in this spectacular two-volume masterpiece, but also dedicating yourself to the cause of allowing others who appreciate William Bouguereau to view his paintings in person: the generosity of you and your wife allowing the Bouguereau paintings in your personal collection to be lent to Bouguereau exhibitions and museums for all to view, such as the Newington-Cropsey Foundation's William Bouguereau Exhibition, 'Beauty, Truth, and the Glorious Infinite" truly show us that you consider and act on your dedication of bringing Bougereau's brilliance to us all.
THANK YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Ross, you are amazing.....
I wanted to let you know that my order arrived Friday afternoon. The books exceeded my expectations!! They are TERRIFIC! I sat in my chair for 6 hours going over every page and reading for as long as I could before I finally had to put them down and go to bed.
I am thrilled with both books. I'm amazed at the quality of the narrative, the amount of information that is presented and the wonderful, beautiful, and fantastic prints. I had no idea that Bouguereau was so prolific. What treasures he has given us.
I can't wait until next week when I can share this gift with my fellow art students. Our instructor is a Bouguereau fan also and she's so anxious to view the books. My greatest fear is that I will have to rip them from her hands once she gets a hold of them!!!!!!
I just received my copy of the Bouguereau Catalog Raisonne- took my breath away! Fred what an awe inspiring compendium! You must sorely miss your co-author. You have just immortalized yourself as all those down the generations who fall in love of Bouguereau will cherish your effort.
I have to compliment you on the Bouguereau books: they are beautiful-what a huge undertaking!!!!
"This Catalog Raisonne is encyclopedic in its thouroughness and scope; Louvre-esque in its stunning beauty! It is an historic achievement. Not only is it the most comprehensive set of books on Bouguereau, it is one of the most comprehensive set of books that has ever been done on ANY artist! There is no question that this publication will stand as the quintessential edition, on one of the greatest painters who has ever lived.
"Beautifully printed and bound, with hundreds and hundreds of mostly excellent color reproductions, it will take your breath away.":
article by Lloyd Fonvielle
Dear Mr. Ross,
The magnificent Catalog Raissone on William Bouguereau arrived. Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for the monumental effort to write and publish it. I have begun the pleasant journey through it's words and images into the life of one of history's greatest artists. It was back in the early '80s that I first saw Bouguereau's work in a small gallery catalog. I was hooked and immediately set out to find books about this obviously great and important artist. Inquiries at Washington DC's finest art book store turned up nothing. And so it was for these many years. Save for Fronia Wissman's 1996 monograph, Bouguereau seemed nonexistent in the world of art history... until now. Your publication is brilliantly conceived. It's beautiful design and quality invite display equal to any valuable work of art. How regretful that Mr. Bartoli passed away before its publication. One can only hope that he is now present with William Bouguereau chatting about the little biographical details lost to us by so called art historians who didn't recognize the importance of such a great artist. Again, my thanks to you and everyone associated with this magnificent publication!
The Epoch Times Review
by Annie Wu
In defense of his good friend's talent, architect Charles Garnier noted of William Bouguereau's "Nymphes et Satyre (Nymphs and Satyr)": "It is a Bouguereau! Better yet: it is the work of a true artist: industrious, enquiring, sustained by intense study, and who, if he is still controversial today, will eventually have the place he deserves...
...Perhaps the most important observation Bartoli and Ross make is that every artist is a product of their time. Bouguereau was an artist of the 19th century, when Enlightenment values of reason, liberty, and universality were at their height.
To read the full Epoch Times Review, click here.
Words cannot describe the magnificence of the Bougereau Catalog Raisonne, which I devoured this weekend. It is perhaps the finest and most well researched monograph I have ever owned. Few people would devote 30 years and a lifetime to the creation of such a volume and once you see it and open it, it becomes clear how extensive the research and depth of information it contains. These two volumes indeed set the record straight on over a hundred years of misinformation but they go deeply into the personality of the artist showing his tender moments, his communication with family and friends, and his appropriate obsession with creating quality. As a artist I loved the section on his technique and palette but I also loved the communication between his Galleries, his family members and the unbelievable documentation and chronology of his works. This set is a must for any art historian or artist. I applaud your efforts!
Thank you for your kindness in sending this, which is now one of my most cherished possessions.
While they last, you may still a copy of this stunning publication: