Arcadie (1860)

Bouguereau, William-Adolphe (1825-1905)

Arcadie/Idylle: Famille de l’Antiquité (Arcadia/Idyll: Family from Antiquity)
Oil on canvas, 61.3 x 51.1 cm
Wadsworth AtheneumHartford

Bouguereau, one of the most successful painters of the nineteenth century, was particularly admired in the United States. He often used a polishing technique, based on traditional academic principles, to give his works a highly finished surface reminiscent of porcelain or enamel. His subjects are often drawn from mythology or ancient history and represent an idealized version of the past. This work, depicting a young family painted in a relief-like manner, has a sentimental quality that was well received during his lifetime. “Idyll” was likely shown in New York as early as 1864, only a few years after its creation. (WA)

See also:

• Arcadia (Greece)