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William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905)
William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905)

Elizabeth Jane Gardner

William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905)
Elizabeth Jane Gardner
signed and dated 'W-BOUGUEREAU-1879' (upper left)
oil on canvas
18 x 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm.)
Painted in 1879
Gift of the artist to Elizabeth Gardner, 1879-1922.
Anonymous sale, Drouot Rive Gauche, 4 April 1979, lot 21.
with M. R. Schweitzer Gallery, New York.
Anonymous sale, Phillips, New York, 29 May 1980, lot 86.
L. Baschet, Catalogue illustré des oeuvres de W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1885, p. 59 (as Portrait de Mlle. G.).
M. Vachon, W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1900, p. 153 (as Portrait de Mlle. G.)
M. Walker, William Bouguereau, 1984, exh. cat, pp. 213, 214, no. 88 (illustrated).
L. M. Fink, American Art of the Nineteenth Century Paris Salon, Cambridge, 1990, p. 209 (illustrated).
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais, William Bouguereau, February 9, 1984-May 6, 1984, exh. cat, no. 88 (illustrated).
The aforementioned exhibition traveled to Montreal, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, June 22, 1984-September 23, 1984, and Hartford, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, October 27, 1984-January 13, 1985.

Lot Essay

Elizabeth Jane Gardner, daughter of George and Jane (Lowell) Gardner, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1837. As one of the leading connoisseur families in Boston society at the time, the Gardners encouraged their daughter's interest in art. Elizabeth Gardner attended the Académie Julian in Paris in 1868 and studied under Jules Lefebvre, where she met William Bouguereau. During the Franco-Pussian War she served as a correspondent for the Boston papers and moved to an apartment next to the Bouguereau family in Paris. In 1876, Bouguereau's wife Nelly died and a twenty year courtship ensued, the couple finally marrying in 1896. This work was painted as a pendant to Bouguereau's self-portrait of the same year, now in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Damien Bartoli with the assistance of Fred Ross, the Bouguereau Committee and the Art Renewal Center.

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