Italian Woman at the Fountain
Oil on canvas (1869)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s technique appears almost photorealistic—a result of close study of nature and the use of photographs that allowed him to capture the most minute details of his compositions. His typical works were classical, religious, or everyday life scenes characterized by their realism, restrained palette, and classically posed figures inspired by Italian Renaissance models. A leading Academic painter of his time, Bouguereau also achieved great commercial success. He was wildly popular with critics and the public in France, as well as with American and British collectors in the late 1800s and early 1900s.