Pleasant Burden William-Adolphe Bouguereau Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Pleasant Burden is a lesser-known painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau which is dated at 1895

The style found here is classically Bouguereau, and displays some of the secrets of his popularity. Two girls, probably sisters, play together in the countryside in a charming, innocent scene. This artist would reuse his favoured models across multiple canvases. He would also use different ages of models in order to produce a slightly different balance to his finished painting.

Research into Bouguereau's drawings have revealed how he would sometimes change the model just prior to starting the oil work, having experimented at the earlier drawing stage.

Most of the artist's portraits would feature one or two young girls, though there were more complex compositions where a huge number of figures would adorn the canvas. Those would always require greater planning where as paintings such as Pleasant Burden could be completed relatively easily.

1895, when this painting is believed to have been produced, is around a significant period in the artist's career, when several of his most famous paintings appeared. Much of his development as an artist would have been completed by this stage and he was comfortable in the style of his work.

There is a romantic feeling to many of his paintings, with young people playing in meadows with a similarly stunning backdrop of surrounding French countryside. They help to remind people of simpler times which always proves popular with the public.