Young Mother Gazing at her Child 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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World renowned French painter, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a member of the Art Academy from 1876, was a passionate artist who, like many other artists of his time, studied the female form extensively.

He captured women's natural beauty in all his paintings, including that entitled, "The Wave," dated 1896. The "Young Mother Gazing at her Child" painting captures a different natural beauty of a woman than most of his other works of art, as his subject is fully clothed.

His emphasis was mainly on the female body, however, like other 19th century artists, Bouguereau often cited cultural references in his artwork. His paintings often depicted mythological figures and angels, as well as women and children.

When observing this painting, we immediately see the mother's expression that exudes unconditional love for her young child who sits naked on her lap. The scene is one that depicts a peasant woman, seated by a fire.The viewer is automatically drawn to her adoration of her son as she gazes at him with a smile.

The young mother's facial expression is calm and peaceful as the child rests calmly on her rich and flamboyantly-colored "milkmaid" dress and apron, which are beautifully captured by the artist. Observers quickly see motherhood expressed in this work of art, almost feeling the love she has for her blond, rosy-cheeked child.

Many see similarities of this work of art to another of Bouguereau's paintings known as "Breton Brother and Sister," which was also painted in the same year, and which earned him fame and fortune.

Bouguereau's talent, passion, and artistic style have never been disputed, and he was always regarded as an inspirational and popular artist whose name lives on through his 822 known incredible works of art.

His use of a delicate palette and his ability to capture nuances of mood and personality brings his subjects' souls to life -- traits that attracted and continue to appeal to many American collectors.