Bouguereau A Song of Spring Print Antique.
This French engraving study was made for the 1889 Paris Exposition, called L'Exposition Universelle, see information below. The artist is William Bouguereau, who was quite well known for his exquisite lady and cupid studies. Please refer to his photograph and biography below. This study is particularly gorgeous, a seated lady with flowers, flanked on both sides by two attending cupids. Both are whispering sweet phrases of love into her ears. The title is A Song of Spring. What's particularly engaging about this engraving is that the lady gazes directly into the eyes of the viewer. The engraving or gravure print is sepia toned. The top text reads: L'Exposition Universelle De 1889. The bottom left corner has Bouguereau's name, as well as the right corner being signed with the date of 1889. Overall size is 8.25 x 11.75 inches, ready to hang. We will ship this one USPS Priority Mail insured.I almost cannot get this beauty anymore, they are becoming so scarce!
From Wikipedia, about the artist and the Exposition below:
William Adolphe Bougureau biography:
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, French, b. November 30, 1825, d. August 19, 1905, was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau was born in La Rochelle, France, on November 30, 1825, into a family of wine and olive oil merchants. He seemed destined to join the family business but for the intervention of his uncle Eugène, a Roman Catholic priest, who taught him classical and Biblical subjects, and arranged for Bouguereau to go to high school. He showed artistic talent early on. His father was convinced by a client to send him to the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, where he won first prize in figure painting for a depiction of Saint Roch. To earn extra money, he designed labels for jams and preserves.
Through his uncle, Bouguereau was given a commission to paint portraits of parishioners, and when his aunt matched the sum he earned, Bouguereau went to Paris and became a student at the École des Beaux-Arts. To supplement his formal training in drawing, he attended anatomical dissections and studied historical costumes and archeology. He was admitted to the studio of François-Edouard Picot, where he studied painting in the academic style. Academic painting placed the highest status on historical and mythological subjects and Bouguereau won the coveted Prix de Rome at age 26 in 1850, with his Zenobia Found by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes. His reward was a year at the Villa Medici in Rome, Italy, where in addition to formal lessons he was able to study first-hand the Renaissance artists and their masterpieces, as well as Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities. He also studied classical literature, which influenced his subject choice for the rest of his career.
The Wave (1896) Bouguereau, painting within the traditional academic style, exhibited at the annual exhibitions of the Paris Salon for his entire working life. An early reviewer stated, M. Bouguereau has a natural instinct and knowledge of contour. The eurythmie of the human body preoccupies him, and in recalling the happy results which, in this genre, the ancients and the artists of the sixteenth century arrived at, one can only congratulate M. Bouguereau in attempting to follow in their footsteps ... Raphael was inspired by the ancients ... and no one accused him of not being original. Raphael was a favorite of Bouguereau and he took this review as a high compliment. He had fulfilled one of the requirements of the Prix de Rome by completing an old-master copy of Raphael’s The Triumph of Galatea. In many of his works, he followed the same classical approach to composition, form, and subject matter. Bouguereau's graceful portraits of women were considered very charming, partly because he could beautify a sitter while also retaining her likeness. In 1856, he married Marie-Nelly Monchablon and subsequently had five children. By the late 1850s, he had made strong connections with art dealers, particularly Paul Durand-Ruel (later the champion of the Impressionists), who helped clients buy paintings from artists who exhibited at the Salons. Thanks to Paul Durand-Ruel, Bouguereau met Hugues Merle, who later often was compared to Bouguereau. The Salons annually drew over 300,000 people, providing valuable exposure to exhibited artists. Bouguereau’s fame extended to England by the 1860s, and he bought a large house and studio in Montparnasse with his growing income.
The Birth of Venus (1879) Bouguereau was a staunch traditionalist whose genre paintings and mythological themes were modern interpretations of Classical subjects, both pagan and Christian, with a concentration on the naked female human body. The idealized world of his paintings, brought to life goddesses, nymphs, bathers, shepherdesses, and madonnas in a way that appealed to wealthy art patrons of the era. Bouguereau employed traditional methods of working up a painting, including detailed pencil studies and oil sketches, and his careful method resulted in a pleasing and accurate rendering of the human form. His painting of skin, hands, and feet was particularly admired. He also used some of the religious and erotic symbolism of the Old Masters, such as the "broken pitcher" which connoted lost innocence. Bouguereau received many commissions to decorate private houses, public buildings, and churches. As was typical of such commissions, Bouguereau would sometimes paint in his own style, and at other times conform to an existing group style. Early on, Bouguereau was commissioned in all three venues, which added enormously to his prestige and fame. He also made reductions of his public paintings for sale to patrons, of which The Annunciation (1888) is an example.
He was also a successful portrait painter and many of his paintings of wealthy patrons remain in private hands. Bouguereau steadily gained the honors of the Academy, reaching Life Member in 1876, and Commander of the Legion of Honor and Grand Medal of Honor in 1885. He began to teach drawing at the Académie Julian in 1875, a co-ed art institution independent of the École des Beaux-Arts, with no entrance exams and with nominal fees. In 1877, both his wife and infant son died. At a rather advanced age, Bouguereau was married for the second time in 1896, to fellow artist Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau, one of his pupils. He used his influence to open many French art institutions to women for the first time, including the Académie française. Near the end of his life he described his love of his art: Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come ... if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable. He painted 826 paintings.
In the spring of 1905, Bouguereau's house and studio in Paris were burgled. On August 19, 1905, Bouguereau died in La Rochelle at the age of 79 from heart disease.
The 1889 L'Exposition Universelle (see last photo with ground plan and Eiffel Tower): The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a World's Fair held in Paris, France from 6 May to 31 October 1889. It was held during the year of the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, an event considered symbolic of the beginning of the French Revolution. The fair included a reconstruction of the Bastille and its surrounding neighborhood, but with the interior courtyard covered with a blue ceiling decorated with fleur-de-lys and used as a ball room and gathering place.
The 1889 Exposition covered a total area of 0.96 km2, including the Champ de Mars, the Trocadéro, the quai d'Orsay, a part of the Seine and the Invalides esplanade. Transport around the Exposition was partly provided by a 3 kilometre (1.9 mi) 600 millimetre (2 ft 0 in) gauge railway by Decauville. It was claimed that the railway carried 6,342,446 visitors in just six months of operation. Some of the locomotives used on this line later saw service on the Chemins de Fer du Calvados.
The main symbol of the Fair was the Eiffel Tower, which served as the entrance arch to the Fair. The 1889 fair was held on the Champ de Mars in Paris, which had been the site of the earlier Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867, and would also be the site of the 1900 exposition. Since the lifts had not been completed when the Exposition opened, the first visitors had to walk up to the second floor platform. Workers had worked through the night the day before the exhibition opened to complete the necessary construction needed to safely allow patrons to set foot upon the structure. When speaking of the dedicated workers, M. Salles, the son-in-law of Eiffel made the statement that "no soldier on the battle field deserved better mention than these humble toilers, who, will never go down in history." No one other than construction personnel were allowed higher than the second floor platform. An equally significant building constructed for the fair was the Galerie des machines, designed by architect Ferdinand Dutert and engineer Victor Contamin. It was reused at the exposition of 1900 and then destroyed in 1910. At 111 meters, the Galerie (or "Machinery Hall") spanned the longest interior space in the world at the time, using a system of hinged arches (like a series of bridge spans placed not end-to-end but parallel) made of steel or iron. Although often described as being constructed of steel, it is actually made of iron.
An equally significant building constructed for the fair was the Galerie des machines, designed by architect Ferdinand Dutert and engineer Victor Contamin. It was reused at the exposition of 1900 and then destroyed in 1910. At 111 meters, the Galerie (or "Machinery Hall") spanned the longest interior space in the world at the time, using a system of hinged arches (like a series of bridge spans placed not end-to-end but parallel) made of steel or iron. Although often described as being constructed of steel, it is actually made of iron.
There is an extensive description, with illustrations, of the Exposition's two famous buildings in the British journal Engineering (3 May 1889 issue). A follow-up report appears a late issue with this summation: the exhibition will be famous for four distinctive features. In the first place, for its buildings, especially the Eiffel tower and the Machinery Hall; in the second place, for its Colonial Exhibition, which for the first time brings vividly to the appreciation of the Frenchmen that they are masters of lands beyond the sea; thirdly, it will be remembered for its great collection of war material, the most absorbing subject now-a-days, unfortunately, to governments if not to individuals; and fourthly, it will be remembered, and with good cause by many, for the extraordinary manner in which South American countries are represented.
The 28 June issue of Engineering also mentions a remarkable "Great Model of the Earth" created by Theodore Villard and Charles Cotard. There were unseasonal thunderstorms in Paris during that summer of 1889, causing some distress to the canopies and decoration of the exposition, as reported by the Engineering issues at that time.
The Exhibition included a building by the Paris architect Pierre-Henri Picq. This was an elaborate iron and glass structure decorated with ceramic tiles in a Byzantine-Egyptian-Romanesque style. After the Exposition the building was shipped to Fort de France and reassembled there, the work being completed by 1893. Known as the Schoelcher Library, initially it contained the 10,000 books that Victor Schoelcher had donated to the island. Today it houses over 250,000 books and an ethnographic museum, and stands as a tribute to the man it is named after who led the movement to abolish slavery in Martinique.
A Negro village (village nègre) where 400 people were displayed constituted the major attraction. Matching closely the opening day of the Exposition, the Opéra Comique premiered on 14 May 1889 with a work specially composed for that event: Jules Massenet's Esclarmonde (debuting American soprano Sybil Sanderson), attracting and entertaining crowds of visitors for the more than 50 evenings the Exposition lasted.
At the Exposition, the French composer Claude Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music, performed by an ensemble from Java. This influenced some of his later compositions.
William Stroudley, locomotive superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway died whilst at the exhibition, where he was exhibiting one of his locomotives. Heineken received the Grand Prix (English: Grand Prize) at the exposition.
Buffalo Bill recruited American sharpshooter Annie Oakley to rejoin his Wild West Show which performed for packed audiences throughout the Exposition. Other prominent visitors included the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) and his wife, Princess Alexandra; artists James McNeill Whistler, Eduard Munch, Rosa Bonheur, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh; U.S. journalist and diplomat Whitelaw Reid; author Henry James; Filipino patriot Jose Rizal; and inventor Thomas Edison.
A central attraction in the French section was the Imperial Diamond, at the time the largest brilliant in the world. Overall size is 8.25 x 11.75 inches, ready to hang. We will ship this one USPS Priority Mail insured.
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