The French-born artist, William Bouguereau, was widely known as a traditionalist as well as an academic painter. He focused on realistic style paintings with heavy themes of mythology. He adapted classical subjects to a modern interpretation. Bouguereau was born on 30 November, 1825 and died 19 August, 1905.
Lidylle (translated to The Idyll) was a painting that Bouguereau created in 1950. It is an oil-on-canvas piece. It shows what seem to be lovers holding each other, looking into each other’s eyes. They are seated on a stone bench with a forested backdrop. A musical instrument sits on the bench to their right.
Bouguereau initially set out to become a priest, attending a college in Pons, but after learning the basics of painting and drawing from Louis Sage at the school, he started to love it. He had another encounter with a local artist by the name of Charles Marionneau. This cemented his path to become an artist. He then applied to the Municipal School of Drawing and Painting in 1841. He quickly rose to the top of his class.
With his artistic career started, he decided to move to Paris, but being short on funds to make the move, Bouguereau sold 33 oil paintings in a three month period. At the age of 20, he moved to Paris (1846).
Bouguereau had finished a staggering 822 paintings by the end of his life. Many of the oil paintings have yet to be found. With the revival of figure painting in 1980, Bouguereau was rediscovered by the artistic world for his talent.
Bouguereau is most known for his painting The Bohemian and The Birth of Venus. He often painted the female figure and had the talent to bring any women’s beauty out while capturing their likeness. Bouguereau received several awards in his life and was celebrated by his peers. Bouguereau was given the opportunity to study the old masters which had a great influence on the content of his work.