William Bouguereau: The Wave (La Vague) 1896

William Bouguereau The Wave La Vague 1896 free wallpaper 300x225

The Wave (La Vague), oil painting by William Bouguereau, designed as free wallpaper (1920x1440) - CLICK on the image for full size

The French Academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) was a traditionalist whose photo-realistic style of paintings was a huge success among the rich art patrons of his times.

William Bouguereau followed the traditional Academic style for his paintings. He prepared detailed studies and sketches of his models so that he could present the most accurate depiction of the human body. In addition to concentrating on presenting the overall figure of his subjects and highly realistic backgrounds and foregrounds, he took extra pains for painting the correct texture of the skin, shapes of hands and feet, etc.

In particular, Bouguereau’s portraits of women were highly appreciated for their noble grace and sensuous charm. He could create in the viewers of his oil paintings of human figures a feeling that they were looking at real human beings, and not just works of art.

Though he retained the original identity of his extremely beautiful female models, he consciously enhanced their beauty considerably. He could give a new dimension to the beauty of women as he painted them with total concentration on the female human figures.

Art critics and art historians generally consider his paintings based on mythological and biblical themes as modern interpretations of the ancient and classical episodes.

In his near photo-realistic style, in addition to innumerable portraits for his rich patrons including the nobles and the most famous personalities, he painted several allegorical scenes, religious themes, enchanting female figures, etc. He gave a life-like presence and artistic imagery for shepherdesses, bathing women, nymphs and Nereids, Madonnas, and gods and goddesses.

Unlike famous artists like Amedeo Modigliani who could not taste success and wealth in their lifetime, William Bouguereau was highly successful throughout his career. His style of painting had a special appeal to wealthy and noble art patrons of his era. Gradually his fame spread to Britain, Spain, Belgium, Holland and the United States.

In fact he was the most famous in the United States where Bouguereau’s works had increasingly eager art buyers among American millionaires for whom Bouguereau was the most celebrated French artist of his times. Even now he continues to enjoy high appreciation in the United States where several exhibitions of his paintings had been organized even in the last few decades.

The image that you see in this post is a large wallpaper of dimension 1920×1440 prepared from a public domain photo of his oil on canvas painting titled ‘The Wave’ (La Vague). Click on the image and download it for free.


  1. Living in the imagination of an aging romantic would be bliss for the subject..she was a beautiful girl and a lovely woman,,and what a lucky one! My favourite painting.

  2. absinthe1890 says:

    A perfect example of 19th century “Photoshopping.” You can see the table the girl was sitting on. Bad painting.

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