Bouguereau

Bouguereau

[booguh-roh]
Bouguereau, Adolphe William, 1825-1905, French academic painter. He won the Prix de Rome in 1850 and became extremely popular during the 1860s and 70s. He is famous for his nudes and for his historical and religious paintings. His La Jeunesse et l'Amour is in the Louvre.

The Birth of Venus (La Naissance de Vénus) is one of the most famous paintings by 19th century painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It depicts not the actual birth of Venus from the sea, but the transportation of Venus in a shell (a visual metaphor for the vulva) from the sea to Paphos in Cyprus. For Bouguereau, it was truly a tour de force. The canvas stands at just over 9'10" (3m) high, and 7'2" (2.2m) wide. The subject matter, as well as the composition, resembles the rather more famous rendition of this subject, Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, as well as Raphael's painting, The Triumph of Galatea.

The painting is currently held in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

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