William Bouguereau, the most popular artist in nineteenth-century France, is rapidly becoming one of the most popular realist artists of all time. This book is an exploration of the four main types of paintings that were most prevalent throughout Bouguereau's body of work. This includes his mythological works, religious works, peasants, and portraits. This final section on portraits focuses on paintings of heads and hands, which gave the artist the opportunity to concentrate on the subtleties of capturing human emotion, something at which the artist was a consummate master, and is a primary factor in what makes his works, in general, so compelling.
Although each section of the book discusses the importance of the individual genera within Bouguereau's oeuvre, and includes painting analyses to highlight his most important works, this book is a true showcase of the master's lifetime achievement through beautifully illustrated full-page plates of over 120 of his greatest masterpieces.