Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Peasant Girl

"A Peasant Girl" by William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

A fine piece of art from the Romantic Period! This is one of my favorite pieces of art as well as one where I have actually had the privilege of seeing the original. During my freshman year of college, three friends and I took a trip to the art museum and stumbled on this piece by Bouguereau. We all liked it so much we returned back to it at least once or twice to look at it again. Fortunately they had a postcard of it in the gift shop. She reminds me of the heroine Danielle from the Cinderella movie, Ever After, in looks as well as in her stance. I think he crafting of her face bears some resemblance to that of Drew Barrymore. But also, her position gives the impression that she is a strong, stalwart girl who can take care of herself. Her eyes challenge anyone to attempt to "mess with her." But there's also a softness about her, such as in the fairness of her complexion. Her expression, although resolute, is tender and serene. There's also a sort of nobility about her character, too. Although she's dressed as a peasant, she carries herself like a queen, not slouching but standing erect, her shoulders straight. To quote Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice (2003), "I never saw such a woman; she would certainly be a fearsome sight to behold." Fearsome, but real and down-to-earth, I should think.

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