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Bougeureau's 'Going to the Well'
Children should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know. ~ Natalia Ginzburg

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William Adolf Bouguereau (1825-1905) A French artist who painted
over 700 works during his career. With his wife, Marie-Nelly Monchablon,
he had three sons and two daughters. All three sons died. One, Georges,
died at the age of 16. Another son, Adolphe-Paul, reportedly died of
Tuberculosis when only 30. His third son, William-Maurice, died in his
infancy shortly before his mother also succumbed. One daughter, Jeanne-
Léontine, also died while just an infant.

It is thought by some that because of the high infant mortality that
existed in the past, parents tended to avoid strong attachments to
young children and that is why young children may be rare among
the family portraits and literature of the times. Others feel that just
like with parents todays, strong bonds formed with infants and babies
and their loss was accompanied by much suffering. President Lincoln,
after his son died of thyphoid fever while they lived at the White
House, had the boy disinterred twice so as to see his boy again. The
boy travelled with his father after the assasination to be buried in his
father's home state.

Going to the well was completed in 1893.


Self Portrait, 1879