Return from the Harvest 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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The donkey is a distinctive feature in this Return from the Harvest picture painting by William Bouguereau.

The donkey ride in the picture provided Bouguereau the opportunity to showcase his amazing skills and classical learning in the illustration of an old-school harvest festival.

The child riding the donkey is portrayed as the Roman god Bacchus, being followed by joyful peasants. Furthermore, this picture painting possesses biblical sentiments whereby the child is portrayed as the “young Christ”.

Typical, William Bouguereau genre paintings were realistic and with mythological themes, and in this painting, that is no exception. Modern interpretations of his art paintings touch classical subjects-both pagan and religious, with a heavy focus on the female human body.

William Bouguereau is considered by the academic art community as one of the greatest painters in the world; clearly, Return from the Harvest picture painting testifies to that.

During the 1920s, William Bouguereau fell into dispute with the avant-garde, partly because of the changing tastes and his strict opposition to the impressionists who were gaining acceptance.

Bouguereau was born in France in 1825 to a family of wine and olive merchants. He developed artistic talent at an early age later joining academic training at the Ecole des Beaux as a painter. In 1850, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome. This prize facilitated his move to Rome where he settled for some time, studying and copying his Italian masters. He returned to Paris after four years.

The Return from the Harvest piece among his other works makes Bouguereau one of the greatest painters of the nineteenth century. He gained extraordinary success in his career as a painter.

Various museums started showcasing William Bouguereau works around the world. Today, more than one hundred museums throughout the world are showcasing his works.

His words he said express his undying love for 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”.

You can find classic Bouguereau art pictures in various art galleries over the internet and on displays in various museums around the world.