My wonderful partner presented me a truly gorgeous two volume catalogue raissone of the work of William Bouguereau. It’s a magnificent work, with literally hundreds of beautiful colour plates of the artist’s fantastic paintings. Being a bit of a sentimental fellow I found tears in my eyes at the end of the introduction, which closes with this passage from Doctor Vern Swanson:
“I conclude with a story of a visit to Sotheby’s New York before they remolded their offices at York and 72nd. To go to the 19th Century department one had to proceed through a narrow corridor which T’d at its end, with the Modernist department appropriately to the left and the 19th century department to the right. Since space for art storage was at a premium each department used the corridor walls to hang pictures being readied for auction. At the end wall, right in the middle, a line was drawn so that one department wouldn’t encroach on the others space – Pollocks and Warhols on the left wall and Geromes and Meissoniers on the right confronting each other. Very interesting and something one would never see in a museum. At the end, on the line, was a large and major Pablo Picasso and an equally large and major William Bouguereau. I was shocked and almost couldn’t breathe – Modernism’s and Traditionalism’s most powerful practitioners side by side! My art history career came down to this one experiential moment and I could see Picasso’s greatness in agitating the soul and deconstructing nature and society. I could also see Bouguereau’s greatness in inspiring the soul and elevating mankind. It changed my life forever and I knew where to find solace for a suffering world.”
13, Vol. 1. Bartoli, Damien and Ross, Frederick C. 2010. William Bouguereau His Life and Works. Foreword by Swanson, Vern G. Antique Collectors’ Club and Art Renewal Center
I’m proud to participate in the revival of traditional painting technique in the 21st Century. The New Romantic Painting exhibit celebrates the inspiration of the mind and elevation of the soul – the antithesis of re-affirming negativity - I sincerely hope our paintings will inspire individuals to aspire to living a life larger than themselves, to find beauty and grace in the world and to remain focused on light, love and joy.