La Charité

Home / Museum / Search ARC Museum / William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

Subscribe

Subscribe to download hi-res images

William Adolphe Bouguereau

1825-1905

French Academic Classical painter, teacher, frescoist and draftsman

La Charité

Charity

1878

196 x 117 cms | 77 x 46 ins
Oil on canvas

"Charity currently holds the world record for a Bouguereau painting sold at auction selling in the summer of 2000 for 3,600,000 US dollars. The painting depicts a beautiful woman caring and protecting five young children giving them her nurturing, sustenance, and knowledge. The nurturing is represented by her bared breasts indicating her intent to allow the children to nurse from her, and illustrating her willingness to give of herself for their well being. Under her left foot is an overturned jug with gold and silver coins flowing out of it. This symbol reveals that there is no cost too great for their happiness, and that she is willing spend what ever money it takes to ensure it, even if it's everything that she has. By her right foot a boy is leaning on a pile of books, showing her intent to educate them and give them the gift of knowledge. Charity is a truly exquisite painting using symbolic imagery to portray the true meaning of selflessness and of course charity."

-- by Kara Ross