In Greek mythology, Biblis, daughter of Miletus, fell in love with her twin brother, Caunus. Though she realized that her feelings were taboo, she could not help but try to woo him and sent him a letter citing examples of incest among the Gods. Repelled and afraid, Caunus fled, driving Biblis mad and prompting her to shed her clothes and chase him through Greece and Anatolia, crying incessantly. Exhausted by grief and sorrow, she collapses, perishes and is transformed by nymphs into a spring, or according to other acccounts, is simply consumed by her tears and becomes a fountain. In either outcome, Bouguereau represents Biblis in her penultimate moment.
Bouguereau writes: “Among my paintings, “Biblis” is one that I love the most, one that I most enjoyed painting; this even though it was inspired by an incident in the atelier. One of my female models had just asked to rest from a tiring pose; when the young woman was in the process of standing up, she instinctively found herself in a pose so beautiful that I stopped her with a gesture and a shout, begging her to hold the pose for just an instant longer. I sketched her immediately, very quickly… I had seen my “Biblis.” It is one of my best paintings” (as translated from the French, Vachon, p. 115).
Bouguereau was regularly asked to paint réductions of his most important works, frequently requested by Jules Adolphe Goupil, his exclusive dealer from 1866 onwards, either to provide print-makers with a more manageable-sized canvas to copy (there was a ready market, especially in America, for Bouguereau's prints), or to satisfy the demands of avid collectors wishing to acquire the no-longer-available original.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale