Idylle-William Bouguereau


William Bouguereau. Idylle (1851)

In this painting by William Bouguereau a couple are in a secluded woodland clearing sharing a quiet moment together. A young woman is standing fully clothed in a white robe that is hanging loosely from her left shoulder and is tied at her slender waist with a pink cord. Her golden hair is tied up under a pink headscarf and she has an ivy wreath around her head suggesting perhaps that she might be a young Maenad and that it is the festival of Dionysus, the god of wine and a time for celebration. Her cheeks are flushed and she appears to be nervous and is modestly looking down at her partner while plucking the petals from a daisy which she has delicately held between her finger and thumb in her left hand.
Her partner is a young athletic looking male who is naked at her feet. He is sitting on a golden orange robe that appears to have been purposely placed on the ground to provide a soft cosy spot for what the picture suggests will be an intimate moment. The young male is looking at the young woman with a loving reassuring look in his eyes and is gently, as there seems to be no tension portrayed in his body, embracing her legs seemingly beckoning her to join him. She how ever is not that sure about his suggestion. Her body language and her facial expression suggests that she is nervous and perhaps uncertain about her feelings for him, or perhaps his feelings for her. Could this be her first time with a man? is she just not that interested ? perhaps this is there fore why she is reluctant to join him. The Daisy in her left hand perhaps being symbolic of the young woman's indecision. He loves me. He loves me not.

idylle. Young girls facial expression. Do I really want to lay with this man? idylle. He loves me, He loves me not.

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