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William Adolphe Bouguereau is a French painter born on November 30th 1825.
After studies at the Fine Art and Architecture School, he was quickly in charge of the decoration of the “Grand Theatre de Bordeaux” ceiling, or the Sainte-Chlothilde church in Paris.
In 1850, he wins the first Rome price with this painting: Zenobie
found on Araxe borders by shepherds.
In 1888, he becomes a teacher at Fine Art and Architecture School, his reputation going until Belgium, England and United-States.
His paintings about Greek mythology refer on themes already used by neo-classism that has greatly influenced his art. Several Bouguereau’s paintings tackle family and childhood topics. But the domain where Bouguereau’s talent is the most appreciated is in the woman picture reproduction. A famous example is Birth of Venus. Indeed, his name will be associated with “academic nudity”.
After his death in 1905, his work will be little by little neglected to be re-discovered in 60’s through exhibitions about academic paint. Salvador Dali will participate in this re-discover by demonstrating his admiration for Bouguereau work.