William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Artwork and Bio of French painter


William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French literary painter born in La Rochelle, France, on 30 November 1825. Bouguereau was raised in a strict home as a devout catholic. In 1837, he went to live with his uncle Eugene, a Catholic priest, and this was when he fell in love with religion, art, and literature. William trained at the Municipal School of Drawing and Painting in 1841.

Bouguereau saved up to finance a move to Paris in 1846, and he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Art, where he honed academic painting skills. William won the coveted Grand Prix de Rome in 1850, a prize that sponsored a study at the French Academy in Rome.

Bouguereau focused on literary, historical, and classical paintings. His paintings were exhibited at the Paris Salon throughout his career. William moved back to his hometown, La Rochelle, after his spell in Italy. In the 1870s & 1880s, Bouguereau took up more personal portraits and excelled in this career. William-Adolphe Bouguereau worked on eight hundred and twenty-two known paintings. Bouguereau died on 19 August 1905, in La Rochelle, at eighty.

What was William-Adolphe Bouguereau Known For?

William Adolphe Bouguereau was known for his academic painting styles. His classical paintings mainly featured historical and religious figures. Bouguereau also produced art on a commercial scale, favoring a sentimental approach to the depiction of the human form.

Who was William-Adolphe Bouguereau Influenced By?

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was influenced by Francois Picot, whose studio he trained at in Paris. Other influences include Louis Sage and Charles Marionneau, a local artist he met before his time at the Municipal School.

What Art Movement was William-Adolphe Bouguereau Associated With?

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was associated with the Realism Art movement. Bouguereau’s works are related to the academic art style, owing to his training at the Ecole des Beaux Art.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Artwork

Below are some of the artworks of William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Study of a woman

Snack in the fields


The frugal meal


Sheep herder


The storybook


Young priestess


Little Esmeralda


Milk soup




Little girl with pomegranate


The virgin of consolation

Little thieves


The virgin and angels


The abduction of psyche


Cupid with a butterfly




Young gypsies



The motherland


At the edge of the brook

Cupid and psyche as children


Nymphs and Satyr



The little beggar



All William-Adolphe Bouguereau Artwork on Artchive

Artwork Name Year Medium
Evening Mood c.1882 Oil on Canvas
Child at Bath c.1886 Oil on Canvas
The Birth of Venus 1879 Oil on Canvas
The Bathers 1884 Oil on Canvas
Admiration 1897 Oil on Canvas
Fraternal Love c.1851 Oil on Canvas
Meditation 1902 Oil on Canvas
Self-portrait 1879 Oil on Canvas
Le jour des morts (All Saints' Day) 1859 Oil on Canvas
Portrait of Madame la Comtesse de Cambaceres 1895 Oil on Canvas
Song of the Angels 1881 Oil on Canvas
Virgin and Child 1888 Oil on Canvas
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