A staunch traditionalist and technical expert, William-Adolphe Bouguereau was lambasted by his Impressionist contemporaries. “Too competent,” they claimed, “Stuck in the past.” It’s an argument that has echoed down through the decades and the manifold curiosities of what we call ‘art’. One school places honour and prestige in time-tested tradition, while the other strives to push the boundaries of expression, always looking forward. But this French painter, active during the late 19th century, triumphed in his pursuit of realism, using archetypal mythological imagery of Greek and Roman heritage as a foothold to explore the human form, while also worshipping the innate beauty of women. Powerful priestesses dominate many of his Classical scenes as stirring glimpses of a Golden Age.