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Artist Biography
no paintings currently on display by this artist

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William Adolphe Bouguereau

William Adolphe Bouguereau was one of the masters of Academic painting, and arguably the greatest painter of the human figure in the 19th century. Born in La Rochelle, France, he was, at the age of eight, sent away to stay with his uncle Eugene, a priest in Mortagne. In the role of surrogate father and mentor, Eugene exposed Wiliam to classical literature and culture, interests which inspired the painter througout his life. In 1841, William rejoined his family in Bordeaux, and admitted to the Bordeaux Municipal Art School,where he won the 1844 prize for Best Historical Painting. In 1846, Bouguereau was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and in 1850, he won 1st prize in the Grand Prix de Rome and as a result, was awarded an all expenses paid year of work and study in Rome. In 1854 he settled in Paris and began to paint on various commissions. In 1857 he was awarded the Paris Salon Medal of Honour. Shortly thereafter, the Emperor Napolean III commissioned him to paint his portrait. In 1859 he became Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. In 1876 he rose to the highest rank of the Institute's Academie des Beaux-Arts .


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