Young Woman Contemplating Two Embracing Children 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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Young Woman Contemplating Two Embracing Children is a painting that plunges the observer into deep thought as they re-examine their relationships.

Bouguereau remains true to his nature by revealing his fascination for women in this picture. It is a simple oil-on-canvass painting, but full of intrigue.

Bouguereau’s fascination with the female body is an open secret. It is evident in most of his paintings where he showcases women, either as young ladies or small girls.

The young woman and her two kissing children are out in the open, the trees, grass and the raised ridge on which the woman sits, are a testament to this fact.

Bouguereau seems to be communicating an important point: love should be boundless, just like nature. The kids have not been corrupted yet so that they can express true feelings to each other.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was an 18th-century academic painter known for his obsession for paintings depicting women, children and the general theme of love.

He created the painting Young Woman Contemplating Two Embracing Children in 1861, a genre painting whose media was oil on canvas. The picture shows a mother looking at her two children who are expressing their love for each other by embracing and kissing.

That Bouguereau was a famous academic painter cannot be gainsaid. Apart from Young Woman Contemplating Two Embracing Children, he created many other works and which have been well documented.

However, what makes Bouguereau stand out from the pack is his unique mythical style. He creates seemingly mundane images but infuses them with a sense of mysticism that emanates from his neoclassical approach to art. Also, the artist’s love for nature is evident in this image that displays trees and grass in the background.

One artist who has explored the subject of love – whether romantic or fraternal – is William-Adolphe Bouguereau. This painting brings to the fore the love between siblings, and between children and their mother.

The young woman’s eyes exude maternal love, as he watches over the kids kiss each other. The mystery of the painting lies in the age of the children: are they old enough to comprehend the meaning of the kiss and embrace? Bouguereau seems to think love transcends age.