William Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) was a French academic, realist painter. In his paintings Bouguereau used mythological themes, creating modern interpretations of classical subjects with a style and emphasis focused on the female body.
Bouguereau was a staunch traditionalist whose genre paintings and mythological themes were modern interpretations of classical subjects, both pagan and Christian, with a concentration on the naked female form. The idealised world of his paintings brought to life goddesses, nymphs, bathers, shepherdesses, children and madonnas in a way that appealed to wealthy art patrons of the era. Bouguereau's graceful portraits of women were considered charming, partly because he could beautify a model whilst also retaining her likeness.
Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown.