The Elder Sister By William Bouguereau

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The Elder Sister by William Bouguereau

The author of the poem The Elder Sister, presented in her poem a younger sister's feelings toward her elder sister who came out of their mother's womb ahead of her. The author describes how a younger sister sees her elder sister.

            The author wrote the poem in the first person. The author writes as if she is in the shoes of the younger sister who is describing how she feels and thinks about her elder sister.

            In the first few lines, the author describes literally how the younger thinks her elder sister was born. The author did an anatomical description of how as a baby the elder sister was born. The author likened the birth of the elder sister to someone who has just come out of a tomb after a long time.

A new ethic of sibling love and equality was trumpeted in children's stories and advice literature consumed by middle-class Americans of the early national period. Family tracts of the colonial era had rarely mentioned siblings, since the intra-generational equality of this relationship was of little use among those who used the unequal relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants as models for society. While actual siblings loved and helped each other, this bond was not celebrated in patriarchal society. But sibling love did fit well with the revolutionary ethic of equality, and American brothers and sisters fairly gushed with the newly prescribed sentiment.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 - August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter. William Bouguereau (French pronunciation: [vij?~ bug??o]) was a traditionalist; in his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of Classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was born in La Rochelle, France on November 30, 1825, into a family of wine and olive oil merchants. He seemed destined to join the family business but for the intervention of his uncle Eugène, a Roman Catholic priest, who taught him classical and Biblical subjects, and arranged for Bouguereau to go to high school. He showed artistic talent early on. His father was convinced by a client to send him to the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, where he won first prize in figure painting for a depiction of Saint Roch. To earn extra money, he designed labels for jams and preserves. (Argencourt 78)

Through his uncle, Bouguereau was given a commission to paint portraits of parishioners, and when his aunt matched the sum he earned, Bouguereau went to Paris and became a student at the École des Beaux-Arts. To supplement his formal training in drawing, he attended anatomical dissections and studied historical costumes and archeology. He was admitted to the studio of François-Edouard Picot, where he studied painting in the academic style. Academic painting placed the highest status on historical and mythological subjects and Bouguereau won the coveted Prix de Rome in 1850, with his Zenobia Found by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes. His reward was ...
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