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William-Adolphe Bouguereau concluded the oil painting entitled Deux Soeurs, translated as Two Sisters, in 1901. The painter often worked with idyllic themes, meaning he portrayed the peasant lifestyle in the rural areas, usually during his trips. The term idyll originates from the style of short poetry created by Theocritus from ancient Greece, where the theme was the rural life. Bouguereau painted many other artworks portraying siblings in the countryside, including The Elder Sister, Breton Brother and Sister, Brother and Sister, among others.
In Two Sisters, Bouguereau portrays two young girls in a warm embrace. The older girl is standing to the left of the composition wearing a long dark purple-blue skirt and a white shirt while leaning on the large square pillar. She stares into the viewer’s eyes with a bland expression and holds her sibling by intertwining her fingers by her hip. The girl to the right has a more playful appearance, with her rosy lips slightly ajar and her eyes looking up into the distance. One of her small pale legs is hung from the pillar, while she sits with her other leg bent up and her bare feet were delicately and beautifully portrayed. She exudes an innocent atmosphere, mainly because of her pure white dress and the green apple in her hand. Both girls have their dark blond hair partially pulled back, and Bouguereau carefully painted the texture of the baby hairs on their forehead and well as their shimmering curls.
Next to the large square pillar in which the younger girl sits on, there is a banister, possibly continuing to several other balusters out of frame. A small branch of vegetation climbs the pillar towards the model’s foot. The background shows many trees, creating a dark area that highlights the central figures of the painting. To the right of the composition, an opening in the vegetation shows a small area of sky and a glimpse of the horizon in the distance. Bouguereau became famous for his hyperrealistic portraits in which he gives his models genuine soul. Inspired by the past masters of the Renaissance era, like Raphael, the painter often relied on mythological and biblical themes – but almost as if they were being photographed into an oil painting.
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