The Bather by William Adolphe Bouguereau

In this episode, we’ll be taking a look at William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1864 The Bather. Welcome to Art, Culture & Books with me, Anthony King.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was born in November 1825 and died 19th August 1905 and was a French academic painter. Throughout his career, he focused on realistic genre paintings, employing mythological themes to provide modern interpretations of classical subjects, particularly emphasizing the female human body. Academic art, also known as academicism is a style of painting and sculpture influenced by European art academies which was prevalent in the 19th century after the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Having spent the majority of his life in Paris, Bouguereau was honoured with the Legion of Honour on 12 July 1859. He described his love of art in his old age: “Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come … if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable.”

By Anthony King (c)