William-Adolphe Bouguereau was popular in the USA and in his own life, The French painter was well-known for his focus on the female form. His work included reinterpretations of myths into more modern times.
At 14 he’d undertaken studies in the priesthood where he learned to paint and draw, but dropped out, choosing to become an artist.
He was very successful, creating more than 820 paintings in his lifetime, though critics suggested that he adapted his painting style to suit the tastes of the buying public.
Quote: “Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness, I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come… if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable.”