Anyway, getting to the painting for today. Out of the Neo-Classical artists came one of the greatest art movements in history - the 19th century Realists. And the man considered to be something of a prophet or father of this movement is William-Adolfe Bouguereau. I don't particularly worship him the way many artists of today do, but I love his work, and my favorite piece of his by far is "The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ."
Bouguereau was a pure academic painter. He entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1846, which was basically the Oxford of art academies. You really didn't enroll in the academy unless you were already pretty good. Through his training and study under Picot, Bouguereau revolutionized the art of figurative painting. His work with the human form was executed with a life-like brilliance. The "Flagellation" was painted later on in his career, and demonstrates his skill at its finest.
Bouguereau lived what I would call a reverse artist's life. He was well-known and favorited by many, and was also quite prosperous during his life. It wasn't until after his death that he fell into obscurity was nearly forgotten. Fortunately, his legacy is alive again with the advent of the new realists of today, and I am optimistic that we are seeing the next great period of art in my lifetime that will once and for all overshadow and bury the embarrassment known as modern art. It is not even as though we are trying to start a new movement of realism. I see it as continuing a tradition that should have never left in the first place.
|Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ|
oil on canvas