Virgin and Child is a painting created by French academic painter William Adolphe Bouguereau in 1888. The painting features the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus on her lap, with the child’s arms outstretched. The piece was painted with Bouguereau’s signature realistic style known for its emphasis on the female human body and Italian Renaissance influences.
Bouguereau was highly renowned during his lifetime, receiving numerous official accolades for his genre paintings and mythological themes. This popularity spanned across France and the United States. In 1899, the Art Gallery of South Australia acquired the painting with funds from the Elder Bequest.
Today, “Virgin and Child” remains on display in Gallery 12 of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Bouguereau’s masterful depiction of the revered religious figures is an example of his skill in painting naturalistic figures with reverence and realism. His intentions were to capture the beauty and humanity of religious images in a way that emphasized their grace and divinity.