The Virgin with Angels 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
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

The Virgin with Angels is a 1900 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. The painting media is oil on canvas, and it measures 185 × 285 cm (72.8 × 112.2 in).

It is currently located in Petit Palais, Paris.The Virgin with Angels is one of William’s most iconic paintings, and it involves highly complex work that has many figures that helped to inspire this painting.

The painting depicts Virgin Mary the mother of Jesus holding her baby while seated on the throne seat with angels admiring and praising the baby. The artist used both bright and cool colors in the painting to give it more meaning.

The focus on details that William gave to each angel and the charming manner the painting was put together giving the main attention to the virgin and her child at the center of the painting, gave the painting a great longevity.

The painting depicts some of the angels standing while other kneeling wearing white gowns decorated with golden colors and burning expensive incense to praise the Virgin and her child.

The use of white gowns worn by the Angels depicts the holiness and purity of the angel. On the other hand, the Virgin was painted wearing a black gown with golden decorations depicting she was at a lower lever compared to the angels.

Bouguereau painted the baby naked to show that he was really in human being form even though he was the son of the god. The baby was painted with his hands raised and right hand displaying a sign of peace. This was clearly thought and put together painting as it speaks directly to the viewer.

The Virgin was painted sitting on the throne seat that is golden decorated to depict her blessings and authority among the humanity. The painting could not have been complete without the crown of the stars around the virgin head to depict her authority was from above.

The burning of incense by the angels using golden vessels in the painting depicted that the child was really a king who commanded authority among the angels and human beings.

The use of pure white materials where the angels are standing and kneeling and the position of the throne seat in painting depicted that this was a holy affair that had no any impurity.

The painting speaks straight to the viewer as Bouguereau message was to show how holy and blessed was the virgin and her baby.

The angels are also depicted with wings that show they have supernatural powers compared to human beings. Again the Virgin had no wings in the painting showing that she was an ordinary human being.

However, the most important thing about the painting is that all the angels are both kneeling or standing to praising and burning incense to the virgin and her baby showing their loyalty. The use of the throne seat in the painting depicts the position of the virgin and her baby in the kingdom.

The Virgin with Angels painting stands out among other William’s painting because of the high-level artistic techniques he used in the painting. The use of golden and white colors shows the purity of the individual in the painting and their command of authority.

The main focus of the painting who is the baby held by her mother was well put together as the baby has his hands spread out reaching to all people who are willing to embrace him and his message. The main message of the painting by William was to depict the holiness and purity of the virgin and her baby and the recognition they have among angels and other heavenly beings.