Petites Maraudeuses

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William Adolphe Bouguereau

1825-1905

French Academic Classical painter, teacher, frescoist and draftsman

Petites Maraudeuses

Little Thieves

1872

200.5 x 109 cms | 78 3/4 x 42 3/4 ins
Oil on canvas

"In this tender piece two sisters are escaping with a basket of stolen apples. The older sister is gently helping the younger off of a wall. One gets the sense when looking at this piece that the two girls have done this many times before, causing the love, companionship, and sense of shared mischief to be clearly and tenderly captured. This work is a great example of Bouguereau's amazing sense of composition. Both sisters are centered with the space between them being in the almost exact center of the canvas; the younger sister's knee countering the older sisters head. The green foliage hanging off the left side of the wall perfectly offsets the bush in the lower right; and the apples in the lower left are countered by the light area in the upper right. Even the wall is balanced with the bricks peaking through the wall to the lower left and the grass poking through on the upper right. Bouguereau painted another image of a young thief 28 years later called Little Thief which is an image of a young girl sitting on a wall, holding a single pear and smiling mischievously."

-- by Kara Ross