Au Bord du Ruisseau

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

Full image size

1808 x 1146 pixels


Subscribe to access hi-res image

William Adolphe Bouguereau


Academic Classical painter, teacher, frescoist and draftsman

Au Bord du Ruisseau

At the Edge of the Brook

Oil on canvas

Commentary by Fred and Kara Ross:

This painting is one of the most sensitive single figures ever painted. Hauntingly enigmatic, but kind and beautiful, this young peasant girl's childhood innocence blends seamlessly with the emerging woman who rivets your eyes to hers. She stares directly at you with a serene kindness imbued with goodness and trust. Inherent is the moral imperative not to betray that trust. This is a prime example of Bouguereau's unique ability to capture ever subtle nuances of personality and mood.

Symbolically she sits by "The Edge of the River". She sits at perhaps the greatest crossroads in life. Her hands and legs are crossed to accentuate that symbolism as are the trunks of the trees behind and to the viewer's right. She wears a humanistic halo of vibrant red flowers alluding to the spirituality inherent in youth.

This masterpiece was the poster painting for the 1984 William Bouguereau retrospective that traveled from Paris' Petite Palais, to the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and finally to Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum.

ARC's Chairman, Fred Ross was one of 4 people on a symposium held there, along with Dr. Barbara Weinberg, Gergory Hedberg, and a reported for the local paper.

ARC has a few dozen of the original posters left and can offer them here for the same price as our high resolution images - $219 plus $19.50 S&H. If you would like to order one, please copy and paste this into an email and send it to