La Petite Maraudeuse

William Bouguereau, 1825-1905, loved to paint portaits of young French peasant girls, in the hope that he could raise their humble status to become icons. When he painted this at the turn of the century, industry was threatening the agrarian way of life. In this picture a young girl brushes her long wind-blown brown hair away from her mona-lisa eyes in a bit of a guilty look because her other hand hides a pilfered pear. However humble, Bouguereau gives his model monumental stature. I loved her hair, I could look at her eyes forever. The painter elevates the feelings of a simple girl to the universal feelings of us all. This painting will sell at Sothebys on Oct 23 for an estimated $900,000 to $1,200,000. I wonder what kind of a life she had.

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