During my research for this assignment I came across a painting of a girl with a candle. The painting was a re working of a famous painting by Artist William Adolphe Bouguereau depicting a girl with a bird L’oiseau Ch ri. 


The candle version although not a fully genuine image by Bouguereau none the less inspired me on the route to create my poster submission entitled Robot Enlightenment.

Intrigued by this alteration of L’oiseau Ch ri  I started examining more of Bouguereau’s work as the Neo Classical artist figure painting possessed a charm and beauty I had not seen before.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was born on November 30, 1825 and died on August 19, 1905. He was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body.

During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde.

By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes.  In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown.

The realism in his paintings is stunning. The pose and expression of his subjects has obviously been carefully considered, but at the same time is purely natural suggesting grace and elegance in even the most humble of subjects (shepherdess paintings are one such example).


His figure paintings offer almost a guide book to posing and could easily be transferred to a photography  practice. Nudes, greek gods, ordinary working people, child paintings and religious themes Bouguereau appears to have painted them all.




Little wonder an unknown artist swapped the bird for a candle and created another exceptional piece, such is the strength of the original work.


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