The European Art Sale

The European Art Sale

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 484. Portrait of Céline Geneviève Bouguereau.

William Bouguereau

Portrait of Céline Geneviève Bouguereau

Lot Closed

October 25, 03:23 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 USD

Lot Details


William-Adolphe Bouguereau


1825 - 1905

Portrait of Céline Geneviève


signed Wm Bouguereau (lower right)

oil on canvas

canvas: 13¼ by 10 in.; 33 by 25 cm

framed: 18⅝ by 15½ in.; 47.3 by 39.3 cm

Probably gift from the artist to Adolphe Bouguereau
By inheritance, Catherine Eugénie Autreux
Autreux family until 1998
Sale: Christie's, New York, 12 February, 1998, lot 30
Private collection
Sale: Phillips, London, 19 June, 2001, lot 97
Private collection
Alexander Gallery, New York
Damien Bartoli and Frederick C. Ross, William Bouguereau Catalogue Raisonné of his Painted Work, 2014, no. 1850/15, pp. 22-23, illustrated.
Working predominantly within the academic tradition, William-Adolphe Bouguereau earned a strong reputation in his lifetime as a painter of classic subjects and primarily figures. Born in 1825 on the south west coast of France, he studied painting sporadically throughout his childhood before moving to Paris at the age of twenty to formally study under François-Édouard Picot, an established painter who worked in the neoclassical tradition. Later, he was admitted to the École Royale des Beaux-Arts, and by 1850, after two failed attempts, Bouguereau was awarded the Grand Prix de Rome. The prize included a full scholarship to the French Academy in Rome, where he would begin study the following year.

From November to December 1850, shortly after winning the prize but before his departure for Italy, Bouguereau was visiting with family in Saint-Martin-en Ré, not far from where he grew up in La Rochelle. While there, he painted portraits of a number of his relatives, including his cousin, Céline Geneviève, depicted here at the age of nineteen. She was the elder daughter of Adolphe Bouguereau, the painter's uncle, and his wife Adelina, both of whom sat for the artist that same year. This small and sensitive portrayal speaks to the artist's humble beginnings as a figure painter, finding sitters in family members who received these tender likenesses as gifts and kept them all their lives.