Tuesday, October 1, 2019

01 Works RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible by the Old Masters, 5g

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1825 - 1905
Le Saintes Femmes au Tombeau, c. 1890
Oil on canvas
Private collection (United States)

Le Saintes Femmes au Tombeau, 1890, translated to The Holy Women at the Tomb, depicts the three Marys, Mary the Mother of James, Mary Magdalene and Mary of Cleophas, at the tomb of the resurrection. The viewer, compositionally, is placed in a prostrated position and looking up first notices the expressions of bewilderment on the central Mary's face before looking past the three women and into the tomb. The tomb is filled with light and the viewer can only catch a glimpse of the "angel of the resurrection" with his arm raised. This is a very clever arrangement. The viewer feels as though they are there with the Marys and that they have stumbled onto this event, bringing it into the present. This painting was first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890, and though a critic after viewing the piece at that time said that Bouguereau "always showed the same thing", the perspective used in this painting and the overall composition is most original and was a tour de force of perspective and foreshortening; which can be clearly seen in the severe angle of the tomb entranceway. The painting now hangs in the collection of the Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts, Antwerp, Belgium. -by Kara Lysandra Ross

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown. More William-Adolphe Bouguereau

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