William Bouguereau - Cold?

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William Bouguereau - Cold?

From Fred Ross

Published before 2005

The greatest artists in history have had to take criticism and rejection ... usually from second rate or nonexistent talents green with envy that they wear as obvious as a scarlet letter ... or Kelly in this case.

Mozart's works and career were maligned and nearly ruined by Salieri, Rembrandt was a target of unmitigated scorn by his fellow artists and the art world during the end of his life and for more than 100 year after his death and was denigrated and his work virtually banned from the art world ... only to be rediscovered by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the 1790's.

But even then, it took another hundred years for his prices to go up to a small fraction of the prices for Gainsborough, Lawrence, Romney, Raeburn and Reynolds himself.

Bouguereau achieves emotional power in his work second to none, and for the themes he loved, beyond any other in art history. He was especially sensitive to the difficulties in growing up, and all through child hood he manages to capture the most exquisite subtle nuances of insecurity, self consciousness, the search for identity, the struggle with budding sensuality and the conflict between the need to mature and the joy of wanting to stay immersed in childhood.

By achieving this with images of some of the most real and simultaneously idealized figures, he attracted first with more sheer if more superficial beauty and then held in place his viewer who having been lured into his magical visions found far more than was bargained for in messages laden with Judeo-Christian values harmonized with Enlightenment sensibilities of the rights and value of men and democratic ideas.