Meditation (1885) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Meditation - William-Adolphe Bouguereau - 1902

Artwork Information

ArtistWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions65.4 x 116.8 cm
Art MovementAcademicism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Meditation

Meditation is a portrait painted by Adolphe-William Bouguereau in 1885. This artwork is a representative of Bouguereau’s academic style, popularized by precise lines and refined brushwork. It depicts a lady sitting in a peaceful natural setting, possibly meditating as suggested by the painting’s title. This piece is one of Bouguereau’s most famous works, and it is currently held at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE, US.

In line with Bouguereau’s style and preference, Meditation emphasizes the female human body. The subject is shown in a relaxed position, wearing light-colored clothing that contrasts with the darker foliage in the background. Bouguereau’s skillful use of light and shadow creates a sense of depth and three-dimensionality, adding to the painting’s overall realism. The artist’s notable popularity in France and the United States is perhaps due to his exceptional talent at accurately portraying the human form.

Overall, Meditation is a genre painting that realistically captures the beauty of a woman surrounded by nature. This piece is one of Bouguereau’s most celebrated and shows his mastery in capturing fine details, such as the flow of the fabrics and the pieces of nature, that create a serene atmosphere.

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