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Old 07-05-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
David Draime David Draime is offline
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Searching for Bouguereau




Last year (April
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:52 PM   #2
SB Wang SB Wang is offline
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Quote:
It was then clear to me that his true monument was not to be found in a cemetery in Paris. It consists of the hundreds of sublime paintings he has bequeathed to us and future generations.
David:
An interesting and rare contribution.
http://www.superstock.co.uk/stock-ph...phy/Bouguereau

For comparision:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Abbey
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panth%C3%A9on_%28Paris%29
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:39 AM   #3
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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W. Bouguereau

David, I can appreciate your enthusiasm for I too, some five years ago, had my moments. I even went to La Rochelle where he had his family home. I also had my moments of pleasure at the Musee D
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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David:

An interesting pilgrimage, and one worth doing I think! Did you ever find any of his paintings? I heard from someone that they supposedly have them in a side annex of the Louvre...
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:17 PM   #5
SB Wang SB Wang is offline
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David:
Admire your enthusiasm.
I'm wondering that someone may research on this, the relation of condition of one's death with life: is a peaceful life usually ends with the same kind death? Sargent is a sample.

http://magliery.com/Graphics/MoreFra...inci-tomb.html
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Thanks for sharing your story, David.

His paintings seem to crop up in places you would not expect:

http://www.appletonmuseum.org/european.shtml

This is also interesting and perhaps extra copies of the catalog are available: http://www.appletonmuseum.org/exhibi...au010607.shtml
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:54 PM   #7
David Draime David Draime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
I even went to La Rochelle where he had his family home.
Mischa, thanks for sharing - the photos are great! Did you see any sites related to Bouguereau, his home? Any paintings? Did you see his "The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ" in the Cathedral of La Rochelle?

You know when I went to the Musee D'Orsay, I went to see Bouguereau's "The Birth of Venus" (the one in your photo) and the room was roped off - closed! They said they were repainting the walls. I went back a week later - still closed!! They said the work was finished but there were still paint smells in the room. I told them that as an artist, I inhale much worse every day, and could they please let me in for a few minutes. I wasn't charming enough, so I didn't get to see it.
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
David Draime David Draime is offline
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Originally Posted by SB Wang
Westminster Abbey - now that's where you want to be buried - good company!! Interesting to read all the various bio's there. Thanks for the links.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:18 PM   #9
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
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Thanks for sharing that experience, David!

It's well to remember that as recently as 30-40 years ago, Allen Funt (originator of TVs "Candid Camera") was buying Bouguereaus, Fochs and the works of other top tier painters of the Gilded Age at unbelievably low prices . . . mostly for the purpose of ridiculing them as "kitsch", and to thumb his nose at "knowledgeable art collectors" who wouldn't have touched them with a barge pole.

While his magnificent "Nymphs and Satyr" sold for $10,000 in 1873 - (the equivalent of $400,000 in gold today) then graced the barroom of Hoffman House in NYC, (watering hole of presidents, senators, the super-wealthy - "the" place to be) the Clarks bought it for $5k in the 1940's (far less than a quarter of its original value, adjusted for inflation).

At the end of his life, Bouguereau was already well on the way to becoming obscure; reviled and ridiculed by the modernists, post-modernists and all who followed as a prime example of "bad taste" and "what was wrong with academic art", when he was mentioned at all.

When I was in art school, (early '70s) of the art history courses I took, the only reference to Bouguereau and the mainstream of 19th Century art of which he was the fore-front, was a single footnote in one of the sizeable required textbooks ( "Mainstreams of Modern Art" - the name says it all) which excoriated Bouguereau et al for their insipid, sentimental, formulaic and superficial work without so much as an accompanying illustration - perhaps the authors felt their hard-sell wouldn't play as well in the face of an actual example.

Appreciation for Bouguereau and 19th century academic art in general is a relatively new and tentative facet of art history and appreciation since 1900, as it flies in the face of the established "party line" to which most university art programs adhere . . . at least in this country. Apparently he's not doing all that well in France, either.

Hilstory will eventually be "fair", I think. Even Rembrandt was reviled in his own time, and obscure to forgotten for long years afterward. Vermeer's small opus was lost entirely to view for over a century. Fads come and go and tastes change with the times. What is truly worthy in the art of the centuries eventually comes to the fore, to be appreciated as having intrinsic merit.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:46 PM   #10
Peter Dransfield Peter Dransfield is offline
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Quote:
) which excoriated Bouguereau et al for their insipid, sentimental, formulaic and superficial work
Wasn't it? When I lived in Paris I did get to see quite a lot of their work and those adjectives certainly seem to fit so in what way do his supporters here feel differently? As I said in my earlier post - admiring their technique is one thing but calling it great art is something entirely different and I would like to see supporters argue the case. In what way wasn't their art pandering to conservative bourgeois bad taste?
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