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BOUGUEREAU: Painting Photo Realistic Women Figures

Volume and three-dimensional are the words which walk parallel to the art of sculpture. But when we feel the sense of volume while looking at a painted object, it must be the skill of the artist who used the shades of colours so marvelously, strokes of brushes so perfectly. William-Adolphe Bouguereau was such an artist.

Perhaps no other painters had given so lively and photorealistic treatment to the figures as the master artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau had given. The manner in which he painted movements; the artistic prowess which he displayed in painting skin tones of cloth-less women, and the sensuality he packed into the female figures he painted: these all speak out that he was master in creating compatibility between colours and the forms.

Art and Literature -Bouguereau, Adolphe-William

In doing so he did capture every aspect of the human body, every tender nuance of personality of the models sitting before his canvases. He gave life to the subtlest fraction of human body in his figurative paintings.

He also tried embedding moods of the model into paintings, catching the soul of the figure before his eyes. Bouguereau, the painter of photo-realisitc approach, had created an idealised world. He put life into the concepts of goddesses, nymphs, bathers, shepherdesses, and Madonna by painting these characters on canvases. His artistic insistance for the perfection in painting the contours of female body had generated a good clientele in wealthy people of nineteenth century France. Bouguereau’s commitment to creations of photo realistic paintings had appealed his art-lover patrons. (Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

In the above painting Art and Literature (Lart et la litterature) he had tried depicting two women representing art and literature. The precisely the painted women carry the respective symbols of art (painting material) and Music and literature in their hands. Such paintings were symbolical in their character.

Bouguereau was son of an olive oil merchant; he was a staunch traditionalist French painter. Though he preferred both realistic and mythological themes to decorate his canvases, he had presented the subjects with newer and fresh interpretations of the classical subjects he had selected to paint. Though he chose the natural beauty of female bodies as his subjects, he did represent the art. Perhaps this was the reason for making his paintings widely popular and the clients commissioned him generously.

When we look at a painting by a master painter like Edgar Degas or Turner, we would not miss to see the magical effects they are capable to create. They know the science of colour. Every colour has its own aesthetic value. However understanding such aesthetic element is purely a subjective issue, the master artist like Bouguereau would make us enjoying it by artistic skill. (Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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