William Bouguereau in Ecouen
Without any contest, William Bouguereau (1825-1905) was one of the most renown painter of the second part of the nineteenth century. He got all the honors before his painting style, especially his nude paintings, was called “art pompier”.
Even if his painting style was very different from the “genre painting”, our researches has shown that he was personally very close to the School of Ecouen painters themselves.
First of all, we know that, on July 10th 1875, one of his sons died in the village. John Todd and a man named Andrews were his witnesses. Thus, he was close to the artists of the Ecouen’s School, especially Paul Seignac, his son Guillaume Seignac becoming, some years later, one of his students (see the last May story). They probably met some years before in Bordeaux, birth place of Paul Seignac and where Bouguereau studied at the Beaux-Arts School.
Even more surprising, on May 23rd 1886, he was one of the four painters leading the funeral convoy of Pierre Edouard Frere. He is the one who, on his tomb, in the Ecouen cemetery, delivered the funeral oration.
On November 18th 1893, he bought for 25.000 francs the Paul Seignac house called “LABOR” located 8 rue de l’Abreuvoir (horse pond street) as well as its 1,200 square-meters of land.
With this repeated lustrous presence, we can appreciate, during the Pierre Edouard Frere time, the importance and notoriety of the Ecouen’s name within the Art world.