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William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Le Guêpier of 1892

2010/11/16

In this post, we visit William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Le Guêpier of 1892. (This version has been digitally “dusted-off” to remove flaws introduced by the camera and scanner.)

I don’t much like the composition. WB was one of the few 19th century masters who could produce a still life from a portrait. For example, in this piece, our heroine appears to be falling when she should be rising-up. Look at our heroine’s head and neck. An early example of “cut ‘n paste.”  With composition like this, who needs PhotoShop?

I have quite the collection of WB’s work here, and I’m baffled that there are so few that make any sense.

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See below for full-sized image

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010/11/17 13:34

    An odd painting what with the “ghosted” activity in the background. Seems like an unfinished piece.

  2. 2010/11/17 15:01

    Hey L,
    Methinks Bougers was expressing an exaggerated distance effect, that things in the back-ground grey out to cool with increased distance. If he had pumped-up the saturation of those ghosted cherubs, the painting would have completely flattened-out. Should have made the cherubs a tad cooler.

    Then again, the photograph is unevenly lighted, not filtered for polarization, slightly rotated and then cropped. Piece o’ junk, really. Then the scan of the slide didn’t focus on the film plane, and the slide was dusty. Insult to injury all ’round.

    And… I don’t much like the composition. WB was one of the few “masters” who could, um, produce a still life from a portrait. For example, in this piece, our heroine appears to be falling when she should be rising-up. I have quite the collection of WB’s work here, and I’m baffled that there are so few that make any sense. Might be a few in there that I like – but right now, none comes to mind.

  3. 2010/11/17 15:34

    Look at our heroine’s head. WB painted a “cut ‘n paste.” with composition like this, who needs PhotoShop?

  4. 2010/11/21 23:01

    Thanks YP!
    (bows)
    I am not worthy…

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