The Return of Spring William-Adolphe Bouguereau Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

The Return of Spring was completed by William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 1886 and can now be found at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, USA

The nudity found within this work has proven unpopular with some, leading to it being attacked on two separate occasions, in 1890 and 1976. Protests against art have occurred frequently, sometimes caused by political or religious views and in some cases poor mental health.

In the modern era famous paintings such as this will often be placed between a glass casing and also have carefully planned lighting and temperature in order to preserve them effectively. Bouguereau himself was a very prolific artist and so there are hundreds of his original paintings still in existence, making such attacks by the public slightly less of a threat.

The painting eventually ended up in the hands of the Joslyn Art Museum after it was gifted by a private collector. Previously it had been displayed for free elsewhere, despite being owned privately.

Spring itself has been used as a topic for countless numbers of artists over the years, from the Renaissance contributions of Sandro Botticelli to the seasons series by Alphonse Mucha. Seasons themselves provide a romantic theme to base a painting around, and each represent quite different feelings and styles.

This large painting is sized at around two metres long and just over a metre wide. It deserves its prominent position in the permanent collection of the Joslyn Art Museum who also own original works by the likes of Paolo Veronese, El Greco, Titian, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Doré, Gustave Courbet and Jackson Pollock in an impressive and varied collection.

At various times within art history there has been a disregard of the work of artists from the academic movement but in recent years the respect for the style of the likes of Bouguereau has returned. Many in the public appreciate his charming portraits and see a purity in his depictions which is rarely seen in today's world.