“The Elder Sister” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
“The Elder Sister” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau portrays a young girl, “the elder sister,” sitting on a rock and holding a sleeping baby, “the younger brother,” on her lap, with a rural landscape behind them.
The girl is looking directly at the viewer, and the structured composition, with the positioning of the legs and arms of the children, demonstrate Bouguereau’s academic painting style.
Bouguereau’s daughter Henriette and son Paul served as models. There is also another painting by Bouguereau called “The Elder Sister” at the Brooklyn Museum.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted many mythological themes with a modern interpretation of classical subjects.
During his life, he enjoyed significant popularity; however, as a salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde.
The Elder Sister
- Title: The Elder Sister
- French: La soeur aînée
- Artist: William-Adolphe Bouguereau
- Year: 1869
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: Height: 1,301.75 mm (51.25 in). Width: 971.55 mm (38.25 in)
- Museum: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Name: William-Adolphe Bouguereau
- Born: 1825 – La Rochelle, France
- Died: 1905 (aged 79) – La Rochelle, France
- Nationality: French
- Notable works:
A Tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- “Portrait of an Old Woman” by Hans Memling
- “The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice” by Canaletto
- “The Elder Sister” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
- “The Orange Trees” by Gustave Caillebotte
- “Ariadne Abandoned” by Theseus by Angelica Kauffman
Through The Eyes of The Artist: William Bouguereau
Adolphe William Bouguereau: A collection of 233 paintings
“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.”
– Margaret Mead
Photo Credit: William-Adolphe Bouguereau [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons