Breton Brother and Sister

Artist: William Bouguereau (French, La Rochelle 1825–1905 La Rochelle)

Date: 1871

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 50 7/8 x 35 1/8 in. (129.2 x 89.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887

Accession Number: 87.15.32

Description

Based on sketches Bouguereau made while summering in Brittany in the late 1860s, this picture was completed in the artist’s studio in 1871. His young models, posed in traditional Breton costumes, epitomize pastoral sibling affection. This type of scene was quickly snapped up by American collectors, earning Bouguereau fame and fortune. As one critic explained, "Whoever gets a picture by [him] gets the full worth of his money, in finished painting, first-rate drawing, and a subject and treatment that no well-bred person can … fault."

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