Born in 1825, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a French academic painter with a bias for realistic works of art. He had a knack for mythological themes which he used to interpret classical subjects, with a particular emphasis on the female human body.
The original title for the painting was Petites Maraudeus, the French version of Small Marauding. Bouguereau put the oil to canvass in 1872 to create this art in a neoclassical style.
Its dimensions are 200.5 x 109cm. The artist attempts to impregnate a mythical meaning into contemporary art by portraying a woman with a child on the wall.
The small marauding refers to the young child, but it is not clear how or why such an innocent-looking girl can maraud.
Small Marauding creates the impression that the little girl has been out for some mischief. The mother, or whoever the older woman is, tries to get her over the wall and into the home.
The small girl has been marauding; hence, the title of the painting. The young lady has been out without the consent of her parents, and when she comes back, her mother helps her over the wall of the compound.
It appears there is always a conspiracy between mothers and their daughters. The former are aware of the mischievous ways of the latter, but they somehow bear with them.
Small Marauding, like many of Bouguereau’s other works, reveals his obsession with female bodies. The painting portrays two females, barefoot and clad in traditional attires.
There is a basket beside them, with what appears to be fruits. Bouguereau must have had a special place for females in his heart and must have related them to nature. The greenery around them and the old concrete wall may suggest that the artist considered women to be as close to nature as possible.
Small Marauding is among the many paintings by Bouguereau that depict females on canvass. The woman and her child possibly represent Bouguereau’s family, with himself removed as the artist. It is one of his most notable paintings.