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William Bouguereau (1825-1905)  La Charité [Charity]  Oil on canvas, 1878  77 1/8 x 46 inches (196 x 117 cm)  Private collection
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Title: Charity
Description:
William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
La Charité [Charity]
Oil on canvas, 1878
77 1/8 x 46 inches (196 x 117 cm)
Private collection

Charity currently holds the world record for a Bouguereau painting sold at auction selling in the summer of 2000 for 3,600,000 US dollars. The painting depicts a beautiful woman caring and protecting five young children giving them her nurturing, sustenance, and knowledge. The nurturing is represented by her bared breasts indicating her intent to allow the children to nurse her, and illustrating her willingness to give of herself for their well being. Under her left foot is an overturned jug with gold and silver coins flowing out of it. This symbol reveals that there is no cost too great for their happiness, and that she is willing spend what ever money it takes to ensure it, even if it’s everything that she has. By her right foot a boy is leaning on a pile of books, showing her intent to educate them and give them the gift of knowledge. Charity is a truly exquisite painting using symbolic imagery to portray the true meaning of selflessness and of course charity.

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William Bouguereau (1825-1905)   Frère et sœur[Brother and Sister]  Oil on canvas, 1887  70 3/8 x 31 3/8 inches (179 x 80 cm)  Private collectionWilliam Bouguereau (1825-1905)  La Charité [Charity]  Oil on canvas, 1878  77 1/8 x 46 inches (196 x 117 cm)  Private collection
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