- William-Adolphe Bouguereau
- LE DÉJEUNER DU MATIN
- signed W-BOUGUEREAU and dated 1887 (upper right)
- oil on canvas
Possibly, M. Boussaton, December 14, 1887 (acquired directly from the artist)
Private Estate (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, October 28, 2003, lot 33, illustrated)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale
Bouguereau's account records, 1887
Mark Steven Walker, "A Summary Catalogue of the Paintings," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, L'Art Pompier, exh. cat., New York, 1991, p. 73
By 1885, William Bouguereau devoted more than one third of his output to chronicling French country life. The little girls and young women who constituted the shepherdesses, fisherwomen, knitters, and even beggars and gypsies, became consistent themes that Bouguereau treasured and repeated.
The present composition belongs to a series of works painted during summers in Bouguereau's native La Rochelle where he vacationed. Le déjeuner du matin was most likely painted in either August or September 1887 and completed in October of the same year, after Bouguereau returned to his atelier. This two-step painting process was common practice for Bouguereau, and hardly any exceptions exist. Bouguereau completed and varnished his compositions known as "de vacances" upon returning to Paris.
This image was greatly commercialized in various printed media by Braun & Clément, registered under the number 3019.