A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

Object Details

Title:

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

Artist/Maker(s):

William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825 - 1905)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1880

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

81.6 x 57.8 cm (32 1/8 x 22 3/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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A young nude woman sits with her arms outstretched, pushing away a winged boy. He is Cupid, the god of love, holding up an arrow to pierce her. The title suggests that the young woman is trying to defend herself, yet she smiles and struggles unconvincingly against the mischievous little god.

Visitors to the Paris exhibitions of the 1870s and 1880s loved Adolphe Bougereau's paintings. The Getty Museum's painting repeats a larger composition that Bougereau made for the Paris Salon in 1880; a viewer probably saw the larger version there and requested a smaller one for private viewing.

Bougereau placed his mythological fantasy in an idyllic, Arcadia-like landscape. In fact, he made this composition in his studio, copying the landscape from the neighboring French countryside and using one of his favorite models.

Provenance
1880 - 1882

Adolphe Goupil, 1806 - 1893, purchased from the artist, 1880; sold to Samuel Putnam Avery, 1882

1882 - possibly 1882

Samuel Putnam Avery, Sr., 1822 - 1904 (New York, New York), possibly sold to Williams & Everett, 1882.

possibly 1882 -

Williams & Everett (Boston, Massachusetts)

- 1917

Mrs. Augustus Kountze [sold, American Art Association, New York, April 16-17, 1917, lot 164, through R. H. Lorenz to Henry Walters]

1917 - 1931

Henry Walters, American, 1848 - 1931 (New York, New York), by inheritance to his wife, Sara (Green) Walters, 1931.

1931 - 1941

Mrs. Sara (Green) Walters (New York, New York) [sold, Mrs. Henry Walters sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 1, 1941, lot 1211, through Duveen Brothers, Inc. (London, England; New York, New York) to J. Paul Getty]

1941 - 1970

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.

Exhibitions
The Impressionists and the Salon (1874-1886) (April 16 to June 20, 1974) (Cat. 7)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (Los Angeles), April 16 to May 12, 1974
  • University of California at Riverside Art Gallery, (Riverside), May 20 to June 20, 1974
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (December 13, 1974 to March 29, 1975) (Cat. 17)
  • New York Cultural Center, (New York), December 13, 1974 to February 2, 1975
  • The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, February 15 to March 29, 1975
In The Studios of Paris: William Bouguereau & His American Students (September 17, 2006 to May 27, 2007) (Cat. 5)
  • Philbrook Museum of Art, (Tulsa), September 17 to December 31, 2006
  • Appleton Museum of Art, (Ocala), February 9 to May 27, 2007
Becoming Van Gogh: His Years in Paris, 1886-1888 (October 20, 2012 to January 20, 2013) (Cat. 2)
  • Denver Art Museum, (Denver), October 20, 2012 to January 20, 2013
Bouguereau's 'Fancies': Allegorical and Mythological Works by the French Master (January 27 to April 19, 2015) (Cat. 2)
  • Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, (Palm Beach), January 27 to April 19, 2015
Related Media
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