Bouguereau shows us two innocent girls posing in a glade, unaware of the dangers of life. The fresh faces, smooth skin, and bare feet remind us of the vulnerability of youth and of that privileged world of simple pleasures and intense youthful friendship before the responsibilities of adult life begin. Bouguereau was a teacher who upheld traditional values in painting at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris.
Artist William Adolphe Bouguereau, French, 1825-1905
Title
  • The Nut Gatherers
Date 1882
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 34 1/2 × 52 3/4 inches (87.6 × 134 cm)
Framed: 44 5/8 × 62 3/8 × 2 7/8 inches (113.3 × 158.4 × 7.3 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mrs. William E. Scripps
Accession Number 54.458
Department European Painting
Not On View
Signed Signed and dated, lower left: W-BOVGVEREAV-1882
by 1886, Mary Morgan, American Art Assocation sale (New York, New York, USA);
1886, James E. Scripps (Detroit, Michigan, USA);
until 1954, William E. Scripps;
1954-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Baschet, L[udovic], ed. Catalogue Illustré des Oeuvres de W. Bouguereau. Paris, 1885, p. 63.

“The Morgan Collection of Paintings.” Art Amateur 14, no. 5 (October 1885): pp. 89–90, p. 89.

Catalogue of the Art Collection Formed by the Late Mrs. Mary J. Morgan. Sales cat., American Art Galleries, New York, March 8, 1886, p. 66, no. 154.

Catalogue of Works of Art Exhibited at the First Annual Exhibition, Held in Merrill Hall, Opening May 29, 1886. Exh. cat., Detroit Museum of Art. Detroit, 1886, p. 7, no. 19.

"The Morgan Picture Sale: List of the Pictures, Prices, and Names of the Buyers and Dealers." Art Amateur 14, no. 5 (April 1886): p. 117.

Catalogue of Paintings, Water Colors, Drawings, Etchings and Collection of Corean Antiquities, Second Exhibition, Detroit Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Detroit Museum of Art. Detroit, 1889, p. 7, no. 8.

Catalogue of a Private Collection of Paintings, Ancient and Modern. Detroit, 1897, p. 4, no. 4.

Vachon, Marius. William Bouguereau. Paris, 1900, p. 155.

Réau, Louis. L'Art Français aux États-Unis. Paris, 1926, p. 164.

Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts: A Check List of the Paintings Acquired before June, 1965. Detroit, 1965, p. 17.

Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts: A Check List of the Paintings Acquired before January 1967. Detroit, 1967, p. 17.

Ocvirk, Otto G., Robert O. Bone, Robert E. Stinson and Philip R. Wigg. Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice. Dubuque, 1968, p. 8 (ill.).

Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts: A Check List of the Paintings Acquired before May, 1970. Detroit, 1970, p. 21.

Isaacson, Robert. William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Exh. cat., New York Cultural Center. New York, 1975, p. 26, no. 18 (ill.).

Isaacson, Robert. “The Evolution of Bouguereau’s Grand Manner.” Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin 62 (1975): 75–83, pp. 81–82 (ill.).

Masterpieces from The Detroit Institute of Arts. Exh. cat., Bunkamura Museum of Art, et al. Tokyo, 1989, p. 87 (ill.); pp. 171, 218–219, 241, no. 55 (ill.).

Peck, William H. The Detroit Institute of Arts: A Brief History. Detroit, 1991, pp. 34–35 (ill.).

Treasures from the Detroit Institute of Arts: Masters of Impressionism and Modern Art. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts, Sogo Museum of Art, et al. Tokyo, 2001, pp. 10 (ill.), 30, 33.

"Let yourself go to the new DIA." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 81, no. 3/4 (2007): pp. 3–38, pp. 18, 20–21 (ill.).

Sojka, Nancy. "Self-Portraiture: Reflections on Lovis Corinth." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 83, no. 1/4 (2009): pp. 64–71, p. 65.

Bartoli, Damien and Frederick Ross. William Bouguereau. New York, 2010, vol. 1: p. 283 (ill.); vol. 2: p. 213 (ill.).