Le lever (1871)

Bouguereau, William-Adolphe (1825-1905)

Le lever (Young Mother Gazing at Her Child)
Oil on canvas, 142.2 x 102.9 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This doting mother in picturesque dress and her angelic offspring are two of many such figures that Bouguereau painted with an eye to the international market. The scene is highly similar in subject and composition to Breton Brother and Sister, also dated 1871 (hanging nearby), and both works were bought by New York collectors—a testament to the popularity that the artist’s scenes of “princesses dressed up as milkmaids” enjoyed in America. (MET)