Fronia E. Wissman: Bouguereau

Pomegranate Artbooks, 1996

Front Flap:

WissmanAdolphe-William Bouguereau was at once one of the most reviled and one of the most beloved of  French artists by the time of his death in 1905. Scorned by progressive painters and critics, who saw in his works all that was wrong with the official French world of art, he was a favorite of collectors, who found in his paintings of bathers, nymphs, and shepherdesses a realm of eternal beauty far from contemporary life.

Bouguereau displayed his rare talent for drawing at a very early age, and he was subsequently educated at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He became a highly sought-after portraitist, while his paintings continued to be accepted at the Salon, where they were enthusiastically received by the public. His influence spread through his instruction at the Académie Julian, where he taught beginning in 1875. By the end of his life he had won medals at international expositions held in France, Germany, and the Netherlands and had been decorated by the governments of Belgium and Spain.

In Bouguereau, Fronia E. Wissman offers astute and illuminating insights into the art, career, and family life of this great artist – whose beautiful paintings of a better, purer time and place continue to find favor with contemporary viewers. Over fifty full-color reproductions and several black-and-white illustrations exemplify Bouguereau’s precision in creating timeless works of sensual, emotional, and intellectual appeal.

Back Flap:

Fronia E. Wissman has written entries and essays in exhibition and collection catalogs for various museums in the United States. She was assistant curator for the exhibition “The New Painting: Impressionism, 1874-1886” at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1986) and guest curator for the “J.-B.-C.: View of Volterra” exhibition at the Timken Art Gallery in San Diego (1988). She also has edited numerous art museum catalogs and many illustrated books. Wissman received her Ph.D. degree in art history from Yale University in 1989. She resides in Vermont.

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"A Self-realized being cannot help benefiting the world. His very existence is the highest good."
Ramana Maharshi