What is it?
The 1885 painting The Young Shepherdess by the French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
What is it about?
This is how Wikipedia describes this painting:
The painting depicts a barefoot young woman in peasant clothing, turned away from but still facing the viewer.
She holds a plant in her hands.
See also The Shepherdess, a similar painting by the same artist.
This and similar images by the artist attracted collectors in Europe and America because of their nostalgic content.
In such works the artist depicted a variety of poses and expressions, in this case showing the mild curiosity of the girl.
In portraying a shepherdess Bouguereau is working within the pastoral mode or theme, as developed by ancient Greek and Hellenistic artists and poets.
French painters who preceded him in this include Claude Lorrain, Poussin, and Watteau.
I can not really describe what this print of a painting says to me exactly, even back when I would still get several difficult to describe feelings when looking at this painting, I still could not really describe those feelings well or at all unfortunately; which is how we sometimes react to art.
I just know that it caught my attention, it was like the shepherdess in the paint was looking at me even as I moved like the cover of the DVD for the movie Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) when I used to see it at Target in the city of LC as I walked by the DVD aisle, and like that DVD cover I was also drawn to this painting.
I first saw this painting many years ago when my mom and I were shopping late during the night at Walmart in the city of D to buy stuff for when I leave to college because I was going to be leaving for college soon.
We walked by a bin of prints of paintings and images that were on sale for a very low price (under $3), and as I looked through them The Young Shepherdess painting kept getting my attention and drawing me to it.
I felt various difficult describe feelings when looking at it in that classic way when a piece of art makes you feel something, and so I bought it along with a print of a photograph of a train that I can not remember.
The version that I have looks more like this one:
The looking at you effect, the lighting, the sky, the somewhat blurry background and brush strokes, et cetera all combined uniquely I guess in a way that would cause an art reaction.
I brought the painting with me when I went to college and I kept it in the window of my dorm room, I would look at it sometimes as I thought to myself while looking out of the window during some of the hardest times of my life as I struggled with various things.
Which at that time was depression, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, suicidal thoughts, a change and loss and crashing of my world view when at that time I struggled with my faith in God / the religion that I grew up in (Christianity), and as I struggled with various other things (college, deaths in the family, adulthood, et cetera).
So this painting happened to be around during those times when no one else was there who I felt could help me as I tried to struggle and suffer with my problems alone.
This painting got damaged a bit when the protective plastic covering bent the painting when heat warped the plastic when I left it in my automobile too long after Hurricane R, and so at some point I finally got a frame for it at some point.
I have had it hanging on a wall ever since then, I used to use an image of this painting as a background on my blog back when it was on Windows Live Spaces, on my YouTube channel, and I even briefly used it on WordPress.com; but I stopped using it for those purposes years ago.
This painting has been in more of my dreams than any other painting or work of art, but it has probably been years since it has been in one of my dreams.
I do not get the same feelings that I used to get when looking at this painting so that art reaction seems to be gone, I rarely look at it now-a-days because I forget about it because it is hanging in a bad location in the house, but it is still a special painting to me with sentimental value.
It is the only painting that I still own because I gave my other print that was of a photograph of a train to maybe my former male classmate JC or to someone else or something happened to it after Hurricane R (maybe someone stole it).