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The Last Master of Glazing

The Last Master of Glazing

Article by Luca Molnar

Have you ever heard of William-Adolphe Bouguereau? Or the old technique of glazing? I don’t blame you if you haven’t yet.

Bouguereau was a famous Franch painter in the 19th century, who died more than a hundred years ago in 1905. He studied the academic style (the technique of the great renaissance masters) for years as a young artist, and perfected his knowledge in the almost forgotten, mysterious technique of the renaissance masters. He became one of the best and most celebrated painters of his generation; and a true master of his profession at a very young age. In 1850, at the tender age of 26 Bouguereau completed his famous painting, Zenobia Found by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes, which clearly shows his amazing talent and unmatchable skills and knowledge. An art critic stated at the time “Bouguereau has a natural instinct and knowledge of contour. The eurythmie of the human body preoccupies him, and in recalling the happy results which, in this genre, the ancients and the artists of the sixteenth century arrived at, one can only congratulate Bouguereau in attempting to follow in their footsteps … Raphael was inspired by the ancients … and no one accused him of not being original.” But what was this technique? What was the secret behind his larger than life paintings?…

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