Featured Artworks – Homer and His Guide – William-Adolphe Bouguereau


Carrying on the Neoclassical tradition of David and Ingres, William-Adolphe Bouguereau dominated French academic painting of the late 19th century. Before becoming identified with beautifully crafted, albeit sentimental, images of women and children, Bouguereau concentrated on elevated religious and mythological subjects that historically were the acme of pictorial subject matter. André Chenier’s poem describing shepherds offering their service after hearing the blind Greek poet Homer praying for a guide furnished Bouguereau with a special theme for this painting (1874). The 18th-century French poet Chenier found his inspiration in ancient classical models, as did the Neoclassical painters. Thus by giving visual expression to Chenier’s poem, Bouguereau also subtly managed to demonstrate his ideological support of academic painting.

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3 Responses to Featured Artworks – Homer and His Guide – William-Adolphe Bouguereau

  1. alfy says:

    The caption has been accidentally omitted. It is, “Don’t worry about the dog, boy, point the tip of my white stick at his throat, and I’ll ram it in. If that doesn’t stop him I’ll put the black stick up his other end.” Homer worked this incident into one of his epics but later censors trimmed it out.

  2. Steve B says:

    Further to Alfy’s comments. The two chaps in the back are doing the earliest recorded Mexican Wave!

  3. Deskarati says:

    There has got to be a Simpsons joke in there somewhere.

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