A soul in heaven. A soul brought to heaven. Une âme au ciel. (1878).

Female nude-Une âme au ciel. (1878) A soul to heaven.

Une âme au ciel. A soul to heaven (1878)

William Bouguereau. A soul carried to heaven. Une âme au ciel. (1878)

In this large piece titled Une âme au ciel, A soul to heaven, the body of a young woman is being carefully carried to the gates of heaven through a stormy sky. How she met her fate it is not known but her expression shows that she is without care and now at peace. Her arms are lying flat on her torso and from which roses spill as she is transported through the sky towards her final destination. In the distance the silhouette of another angel with outstretched arms can be seen, perhaps signalling her arrival to the afterlife.

In this poignant piece it seems that Bouguereau choose not to portray his female subject as a full nude, but chose instead to portray her as a partial nude, (perhaps out of respect for the dead.) allowing her robe to cover most of her body and exposing only the top half of her upper body, showing only part of her right breast, her left breast, arms, shoulders and face. The only part of her lower body that is not covered is her feet.

Close up of A soul brought to heaven.

A soul brought to heaven. At piece

 A soul brought to heaven. Facial comparison to the Bather.

The face of the young girl in this piece bears a similar resemblance to the subject used in The Bather which William Bouguereau painted the following year.

The above account is my interpretation of the work and should in no way be taken as fact.