William Bouguereau's The Bird Ch Ri is one of the paintings he did which focuses on the young. It may appeal to both children and those who are young at heart. Like his painting The Crab, it evokes a sense of discovery as a young person finds something new. The fascination of the girl in the painting will stay with those who have seen this painting for a while.
The artist used oil to create this work on canvas. He finished The Bird Ch Ri in 1867. It is a fairly large painting. Not so large that it overwhelms the viewer but of dimensions which allow the artist's attention to detail to be fully appreciated. Not many artist's are able to work with colour in the way he did.
His children's portraits are beautiful and if he were alive today, his work would be in demand by doting parents who want beautiful portraits of their children. His work is inspired by the style that is seen in Greek and Roman art but it is all its own. There is nothing mythological about this piece. It is contemporary for the time in which it was painted.
The painting has great clarity. The form of the girl is clearly distinguished while other elements are more subdued where necessary to draw attention to her and her pet bird. The flighted companion is painted using a lot of sombre colours but he is brightened with brushstrokes of yellow which lend obvious delight to the girl.
Neoclassicism often uses sobering colours to create an impression. The environment around the girl is filed with rich hues such as brown. Even her skirt has deep blue where it lies in shadow. She leans on an article of furniture that is covered with a bright cloth of some type. This may have been placed there by the artist to help balance the composition.
Such a delightful scene requires a certain amount of gaiety. This is delivered effectively through the use of orange and other bright tones in the cloth which covers her buttress. His skill with using light is exceptional and each viewer can see that for themselves in the way he has painted her blouse and added an expression of marvel to her face.