Art History Meme - [1/9 paintings]
The Birth of Venus, 1878 by William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Bouguereau was an academic painter in 19th century (and very early 20th century) France, who won many awards for his work and was admired by many.
This particular painting is one of the most famous paintings by him and depicts a classical scene from mythology- the birth of Venus- which was a very popular genre amongst the Academies. It is almost life-size, measuring 2.18 m by 3 m. It was awarded the Grand Prix de Rome in 1879 and is now a part of the permanent collection of the Musee d’Orsay.
What strikes you first and foremost about the painting is the life-like representation of flesh, which Bouguereau was incredibly talented at. In fact, one of the reasons why some people call him one of the greatest painters is how he could make skin seem like it is translucent and glowing. He was also deeply praised for his painting of feet and hands.