Some camp of viewers view the image to be that of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a child.
But there is not even the slightest hint of a Halo around the girl’s head, so this view remains to be mere speculation since the Virgin Mary is conventionally illustrated with some sort of a Halo.
Regardless of that, The Prayer art painting remains to be a classic manifestation of the physical beauty of William Bouguereau’s subject and the metaphysical splendor of the theme.
The clear message is transcendence of the soul to God through prayer, The Prayer is another manifestation of the great preponderance of Bouguereau’s works—life-size and multi-figured, adding a plus to his already most impressive artistic legacy.
William Bouguereau holds a unique place in art history, focusing on the expressive power or rhythmical energy in art paintings instead of only focusing on perfection of skill.
Looking back before the days when he became famous and recognized, Bouguereau’s reputation began to grow exponentially from the time he won the Grand Prix de Rome, becoming a household name throughout Europe and America later on.
He brought his subjects in paintings to life in an unparalleled manner, capturing the tender and subtle nuances of personality and mood, therefore eliciting human emotion and engagement with the image.
William Bouguereau attracted the attention of the very souls and spirits of his audience in the way Rembrandt did. While Rembrandt captured the soul of the age, Bouguereau got the attention and influenced the youth.
Attention need to focus on illustration of many of the core beliefs and philosophical inventions of the Elite camp in those days. There philosophies and notions are crucial to understanding the context in which William Bouguereau lived and worked to elicit or contribute to images he produced in his paintings. It was a time of major cultural shifts when the old world was competing with the evolving elements of the world of tomorrow.
William Bouguereau paintings depicted ideals of the Enlightenment. Many of the messages of his works promoted integrity and dignity. He produced his characters in paintings with solemn nobility, whether shy and meek, resigned and fearful, sad and hopeless.