Song of the Angels (1881) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Song of the Angels - William-Adolphe Bouguereau - 1881

Artwork Information

TitleSong of the Angels
ArtistWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions152.4 x 213.4 cm
Art MovementAcademicism
Current LocationMuseum at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale, California

About Song of the Angels

The artwork titled “Song of the Angels” was painted by William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 1881. This oil on canvas painting belongs to the Academicism movement and is categorized as a religious painting. Measuring 152.4 x 213.4 cm, the painting is currently housed in the Museum at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale, California.

The artwork features a serene and celestial tableau in which the Virgin Mary, depicted with a halo of purity, cradles the sleeping Christ Child. She is seated on a rock, enveloped in a sumptuous blue robe that cascades around her, suggesting both her earthly role as a mother and her heavenly significance. Surrounding them are three angels, ethereal beings with feathered wings of immaculate white. The angels hover attentively, each contributing harmoniously to the sacred environment. The angel standing directly behind Mary inclines gently over the pair, seemingly overseeing the divine scene. Meanwhile, one angel, seated on the right, plays a violin, and another is depicted partially behind this musician, holding what appears to be a small harp or lyre.

The ethereal quality of the scene is further enhanced by the soft, diffused light that permeates the composition, casting a delicate glow over the figures and highlighting their innocent beauty. The angels’ angelic expressions and their attentive gestures towards Mary and the Christ Child create an atmosphere of reverence and adoration. The serene countenance of the Virgin Mary as she gazes down upon her child further imbues the scene with a sense of divine tranquility and maternal love. Bouguereau’s masterful use of color, light, and shadow in this artwork exemplifies the technical precision and idealized grace characteristic of his work within the academic tradition.

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