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William Adolphe Bouguereau

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William Adolphe Bouguereau

(1825 - 1905)

William Bouguereau was born in France. In school, he was known to have many drawings on his notebooks and school texts. His father's wine store business never flourished, which influenced their home life with stress and tension between his parents. Eventually they sent their children to live with relatives to keep them from witnessing their quarrels. William was sent to live with his Uncle Eugène Bouguereau who was a priest. With his uncle, he learned many things about life, literature, and the classical culture. In 1839, his uncle sent him to the college of Pons. His schooling there later became the backbone of his artistic personality in classicism and persistence. Returning to live with his family again at age 17, Bouguereau convinced his father to let him study at Bordeaux municipal art school and later at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Twice, Bouguereau won the Prix de Rome from the school's annual exhibition contest. Throughout his career, Bouguereau was well known for his classical taste and his self-less service. He'd run charity sales to help his colleagues and he pushed for women being accepted in official art classes at the Julian Academy and the the École des Beaux-Arts. He ignored his critics and stuck with his imaginative academic style. Bouguereau's non-stop determination was evident in his typical work schedule. He would wake up at 6 a.m. and paint till he was overcome with exhaustion, only taking a break to have a meal of eggs and water in the middle of the day.

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