Painting: From Salon to Saloon

The art market thrives on revivals, and in recent years has seen everything from 17th century mannerists to Britain's Pre-Raphaelites brought back into vogue. But one group—the 19th century French Salon painters, including such luminaries as Cabanel, Meissonier, Bonnat, Baudry and Rochegrosse—has seemed beyond redemption. Until last week when, that is, half in jest, Paris' avant-garde Galerie Breteau dragged out 20 paintings by one of the most ac claimed academicians and popular artists of his time, a man whose very name was an epithet to the impressionists: William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

It is not hard to see why the 19th century trail...

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