A Dream of Spring

At this moment there is a dull gray overcast, dull snow on the ground, ice in the street and an air temperature of 19°F. It is a fitting day to dream of warm spring weather.

A scan of a post card featuring William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Dream of Spring, painted in 1901. Post cast purchased from the Newfields gift shop.
A scan of a post card featuring William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Dream of Spring, painted in 1901. Post cast purchased from the Newfields gift shop.

When I wondered through the galleries of the Newsfields art museum on February 8, 2021 I did not come across the Dream of Spring by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. one of my favorite paintings hanging in the Newfields’ galleries. Painted in 1901, it traveled through several different ‘hands’ before Mel Simon gave it to the Newfields in 2013, if I read the provenance correctly.

The wiki article says it is an allegory of spring showing a young woman in a forest surrounded by small amores (cupids) who crown her with a wreath of spring flowers, hence the title of the painting, Dream of Spring.

When I first saw this painting (probably in 2015) my first impression was that it was a beautiful painting with a cute young girl touching her boob with three naked babies flying around her. I thought to myself, geez, I wish I could paint like that.

One of the galleries inside the Newfields museum, Indianapolis Indiana, showing William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Dream of Spring. Photo taken October 27, 2017 by Dave O.
One of the galleries inside the Newfields museum, Indianapolis Indiana, showing William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Dream of Spring. Photo taken October 27, 2017 by Dave O.

I didn’t get the title “Dream of Spring” and how it related to the painting other than it had a ‘spring’ flavor to the image with the forest in the background. It was only after reading the wiki article that I came to realize it is an allegory of Springtime.

A closer look at the painting reveals one of the cupids is ready to poke the girl with an arrow … maybe that is an indication that it is ‘spring’ where people seem to fall in love in the spring time.

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