Friday, May 3, 2013

William-Adolphe Bouguereau • Rêverie sur le seuil

William-Adolphe Bouguereau
(FRENCH, 1825–1905)
Rêverie sur le seuil
signed and dated ‘W. BOUGUEREAU 1893’ (upper right)
oil on canvas
37 x 23 in. (95.8 x 60.3 cm.)


  1. I'm without words. Speechless. I didn't know this painting, is an absolutely beauty. And your close ups... very few times I could appreciate so clearly the handling of the painting of Bouguereau in photographs. THanks, infinite thanks for sharing.

    1. My approach to photographing paintings is based on 'somethings you just have to do yourself' …so many photos (by others) disappoint. As always, happy to share!

  2. This photographs are wonderful resource to learn about the handling of the painting in Bouguereau works, and perhaps something about the order in which he proceeded. I recently wrote an "article" thinking about "painting surfaces" in Bouguereau work, just from a painter perspective and lover of his paintings (not conservationist, not an expert). It´s in spanish sadly, but specially I wrote about the absence -in Bouguereau's work- of "closed surfaces". The painting is always breathing. And this is something that many of his contemporaries followers seems to omit. Their paintings are overpolished and their surfaces closed, completly opaques and homogeneous. Nothing to do with Bouguereau.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, you find something of interest in it

    Thanks again, really wonderful shoots!

    1. re: "closed surfaces"
      Yes, the dynamic quality imparted by thin and thick passages; thin and roughly scrubbed to the dense impasto strokes.

      but also…

      Edges! They turn the form, they create atmosphere, and they aid in guiding the viewers eye through the painting. Careful handling of the transitions across forms creates the atmosphere, the illusion of forms in a definite space enveloped by air. Proper edges combined with value also creates a shimmer, the vibration of light as it cascades across the surfaces of one form to the next …the breathing, the life! Bouguereau was a masterful composer who utilized a wide range of edges, both with-in and across forms.

      I have a post planned in which the perception of both is key.

    2. True!! edges are amazingly handled by B. I really like to see your post!

    3. The post was first planned when this blog started, and I still haven't put it together! …and so few words! This week, but 2 or 3 others first.