Bouguereau book accomplishes its essential mission

Home / Education / ARChives / Letters

Bouguereau book accomplishes its essential mission


Published before 2005

Hi Kara:

Here are my comments on the great book. (I was an editor for 17 years...)

1. The book accomplishes its essential mission-a reverence for the life and art of William Bouguereau. I loved the book and appreciate the vast effort it took to obtain that much detail. His life was focused but unfortunately peppered with losses of loved ones. It is a long book but one I could read forever. I especially liked the detail of the Grand Prix de Rome competition on page 72-shows the importance of memory and imagination training in drawing.

2. WB was a sensitive man because he had to be able to read his Mother's moods-this continued into his adulthood, his art, and even later in life as long as his Mother was alive. His Mother was smart and was the parent that recognized his artistic genius. (Few persons seem to know that the geneticists say that males get 100% of their genetic intelligence from their Mothers.)

3. Obviously, WB found fools to be transparent but spent little time on them. If the fool were an artist, he merely encouraged...

4. You did a great job in describing his Nymphs and Satyr. In this painting, in WB's mind, the beckoning nymph may have been yelling to friends something playful like, "Is he afraid to get his widdle (little) horns wet?" or "Watch this!"

5. My favorite WB painting is "Jeannie" (page 184) that was his daughter who died very young who was named after WB's cousin who died at 20. It conveys the most emotion and is one of his few painting in which the subject does not have a sullen look on her face.

6. His between 800-900 paintings are few to a plein air painter but he was a master artist and did numerous drawings and paintings in preparation for them probably amounting to tens of thousands.

7. p. 483-Parkhurst and Robert Henri were Bouguereau students.

I hope these comments are somehow helpful.

Will eventually get your father's tapes on art. Now I am still listening, in my spare time, to Sister Wendy...

Best Regards,