Permanent Collection Highlights :: Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens

Return from the Harvest

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Photo Description:
William Adolphe Bouguereau French, 1825-1905 Return from the Harvest 1878 Oil on canvas Membership Purchase AP 1964.2.1 Considered Bouguereau's masterpiece, Return from the Harvest was commissioned in 1874 by the American department store owner, A.T. Stewart. His only stipulation in awarding the commission was that the painting be Bouguereau's greatest work and could not be a nude subject. Stewart died before Bouguereau completed the work. Bouguereau often combined Christian and pagan themes in his art. Return from the Harvest presents more than just an idealized scene of life among the peasantry. The dancing peasants could be the devotees of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus, personified by the infant crowned with grape leaves. The subject could also refer to Mary, wearing the symbolic colors of red,blue, and white, and the Christ Child, whose head is encircled by a kingly crown. Regardless of the ambiguity of the narrative, Bouguereau paints each figure with a realism virtually unrivaled.

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