Students at the French academies didn't get a whole lot of instruction from the teachers. Most of the masters came into the drawing and painting classes once a week at most, and sometimes their feedback was brief and enigmatic.
Illustration from An Art Student's Reminiscences of Paris in the Eighties
After looking at his drawings from the nude and asking him a number of questions, Bouguereau kindly said: "Mon ami, ça c'est comme bois; cherchez le caractère et les valeurs" ("My friend, it is like wood; look for the character and values.")
|William Bouguereau, Biblis, to be auctioned in NYC at Sotheby's Nov. 6|
|Sir John Lavery, Miss Auras, The Red Book|
Lavery admitted that he had a tough time learning French, so he probably missed out on a lot of the art talk in Paris. But looking back on his training, he said, "The rest of my training came and continued to come from what I saw rather than from what I heard."