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Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
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Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

  • This enchanting work depicts Bouguereau's favored subject: children at ease in nature
  • Bouguereau's masterful canvases are a tour-de-force of oil painting, impossibly smooth and realistic
  • The artist was celebrated in his day, often with a two-year waiting list for his prized works
  • View the Dossier
  • Get complete item description here
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Item No. 31-8591

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Description
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
1825-1905 | French

Au bord du ruisseau

Signed and dated “W-Bouguereau-1888” (upper left)
Oil on Canvas

“Bouguereau’s paintings of children allowed for the expression of values that formed, for the painter, the very heart of his philosophy of life.“ - Gilles Chazal, ‘The Art of Bouguereau,’ 1984-1985

This enchanting work, painted by the majorly successful William-Adoplhe Bouguereau, depicts his favored subject from the second half of his career: young. . .
Read more
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
1825-1905 | French

Au bord du ruisseau

Signed and dated “W-Bouguereau-1888” (upper left)
Oil on Canvas

“Bouguereau’s paintings of children allowed for the expression of values that formed, for the painter, the very heart of his philosophy of life.“ - Gilles Chazal, ‘The Art of Bouguereau,’ 1984-1985

This enchanting work, painted by the majorly successful William-Adoplhe Bouguereau, depicts his favored subject from the second half of his career: young women at ease in nature. This work, entitled Au bord du ruisseau, masterfully captures the subtle curiosity in the child's expressive eyes. It is this charming subject that charted his rise to one of the most celebrated and important painters in French Academy history.

In the painting, a young girl rests on the sandy banks of a river. Just having removed her bright red stockings, which lay carelessly crumpled in a pile to her left, she meets the eyes of the viewer. Her slightly flushed cheeks contrast the softness of her pale skin, emphasizing the beauty that comes with youth. In addition to his skill at rendering the human figure, Bouguereau also demonstrates his expertise in depicting botanical figures. The rocky outcrop contrasts the sharpness of the bulrush (typha latifolia) sprouting out from the sand. Although the impossibly smooth brushwork erases Bouguereau’s hand, his technical mastery of the scene is undeniable in the varying textures of her soft skin, the coarse linen of her dress and the crisp foliage behind her.

Internationally famous for his skill as a draftsman and painter of religious imagery, Bouguereau transitioned into painting genre subjects by the mid-1870s. Always keenly aware of what was trending with the art-buying public, Bourguerau became inspired by a broad cultural shift and the many summers spent in his childhood village, La Rochelle. In 1882, Bouguereau purchased a summer retreat in La Rochelle, allowing him to paint local models en plein air before finishing his canvases in Paris.

Unlike other artists in the 19th century who documented the arduous lives of peasants toiling in the French countryside, such as Jean-Francois Millet, Bouguereau romanticized them. The wonderment of a childhood spent in nature, running wild and free, is celebrated across Bouguereau's oeuvre, making him an exceptional commercial success in his day. Collectors on both sides of the Atlantic had to wait two to three years to purchase one of his prized paintings. In the 19th century, no American collection would have been complete without a portrait by the French Academic master. Today, his works reside in prestigious museum collections such as the Musée d'Orsay, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Dated 1888

Canvas: 31 7/8“ high x 40 3/8” wide (81.28 x 103.51 cm) Frame: 47 3/8" high x 56" wide x 5" deep (120.33 x 142.24 x 12.7 cm)

View the Dossier

Provenance:
The artist
Joseph Barrigan, Providence, acquired directly from the above, 30 May 1888
Dr. and Mrs. John Garry, Ipswich, MA
Their sale; Sotheby’s, New York, 26 October 1983, lot 98
Borghi & Co., New York
Private Collection, acquired from the above circa 1985
European Art Part I sale; Christie’s, New York, 31 October 2018
Private Collection
M.S. Rau, New Orleans

Exhibitions:
Paris, Cercle Artistique et Littérature, March 1888


Literature:
C. Comte de Franqueville, Le Premier Siècle de l’Institut de France: 25 Octobre 1795-25, Octobre 1895, Paris, 1895, p. 370
M. Vachon, W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1900, p. 156
M.S. Walker, ‘A Summary Catalogue of the Paintings, in William Bouguereau: l’Art Pompier, exh. cat., Borghi & Co., New York, 1991, p. 73
D. Bartoli and F. Ross, William Bouguereau: His Life and Works, New York, 2010, p. 450, pl. 296, ill.
D. Bartoli and F. Ross, William Bouguereau: Catalogue Raisonné of his Painted Work, New York, 2010, p. 246-247, no. 1888/05, ill. 
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Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Maker: Bouguereau, William Adolphe
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: France
Type: Paintings
Style: Academic
Depth: 5.0 in. (12.7 cm)
Width: 56.0 in. (142.24 cm)
Height: 47.38 in. (120.33 cm)
Canvas Width: 40.750 in. (103.51 cm)
Canvas Height: 32.000 in. (81.28 cm)
Au Bord du Ruisseau by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Bouguereau and the Art of the Academy

In the age that saw the birth of Impressionism, an emerging group of artists that began to see the world around them in new ways, William-Adolphe Bouguereau stood as one of the most...

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Buy with Confidence

At M.S. Rau, we are committed to building a long-term, rewarding relationship with each and every client. That’s why your purchase is backed by our 125% guarantee.

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