Centaur/Satyr Fine Art: The Works of William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Battle of The Centaurs and The Lapithae by Wm-Adolphe Bouguereau

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French painter of romantic mythological themes who was extremely popular at his peak in the 1860s, eventually becoming a famous artist in England and the United States as well. He is noted for his workings of classical-styled motifs and his mastery of the human form. Not surprisingly, by the time the French Impressionists were overwhelming the arts in the 1880s and 90s Bouguereau’s formal style of painting had fallen out of favor. It would take a rediscovering of his work in the later years of the 20th Century before he would reclaim his rightful place among the finest French painters in history.

Nymphs and Satyr by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

I find his compositions to be amazingly vibrant and dramatic despite what would be considered too rigid and too formally constructed in the work of a lesser artist. Bouguereau had a gift for compositional placement of his subjects which is very obvious in the work below featuring Bacchus and a procession of satyrs, nymphs and centaurs.

La jeunesse de Bacchus. (1884)


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October 8, 2013 · 7:19 PM

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