AUG 24/ by The Wanderlust Collective /Art, Artist Spotlight, Inspiration
I’ve looked to the masters for years and have drawn inspiration from them. One of the artists that affected me greatly was Adolphe Bouguereau. You can see how much he influenced me in my work “Angel Eyes.”
William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a Neoclassical painter. What made me a follower of his works was his religious and mythological subjects. My favorite pieces being Dante and Virgil in Hell, done in 1850. I could study that piece forever. The dramatic setting, the colors, ambiance, and models. He was an amazing painter.
"One has to seek Beauty and Truth, Sir! As I always say to my pupils, you have to work to the finish. There's only one kind of painting. It is the painting that presents the eye with perfection, the kind of beautiful and impeccable enamel you find in Veronese and Titian."
Bouguereau was catholic and looked upon his religious paintings as a form of worship of God. His love of Christ can be seen in his paintings. The Flagellation of Christ done in 1880 is one of his masterpieces.
What I most admire about his work is his painting of skin, hands, and feet. The realism of his work leaves you mesmerized. His approach was smooth, and luminous, he built up thin layers over black and white grisaille underpainting. I think this is one of the reasons I love that technique so much.
"For me a work of art must be an elevated interpretation of nature. The search for the ideal has been the purpose of my life. In landscape or seascape, I love above all the poetic motif."
William was an old school academic in the late 19th century set in his ways during a time when new artists were making waves in Paris. New artists like Monet and Renoir went about bad mouthing Bouguereaus art in order to promote their own work.
What makes me love him more was that he loved pushing women artists. One of his famous female students was Elizabeth Gardner, She was a New Hampshire woman who painted pictures like Bouguereau so much so that it was hard to tell them apart. Elizabeth eventually became his wife. In 1868 she was one of the first American women to exhibit at the Paris salon, along with Mary Cassatt.
Bouguereau works will always fuel me to strive for more in my artwork. Who inspires you in your work?