The Elder Sister
|The Elder Sister|
|French: La soeur aînée|
The Elder Sister (1869)
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||130.2 cm × 97.2 cm (51.3 in × 38.3 in)|
|Location||Museum of Fine Arts, Houston|
The Elder Sister (French: La soeur aînée) is a painting by nineteenth-century French academic artist, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, in 1869. The painting was acquired in 1992 by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as a gift. According to the museum website, the painting was the gift of an anonymous lady in memory of her father. Since then, The Elder Sister has been a part of the permanent collection of the museum and is placed in its "Arts of Europe" section. It has become one of the most notable highlights among the museum's collection of paintings.
The painting shows a girl ("the elder sister") sitting on a rock and holding a sleeping baby on her lap. A quiet rural landscape serves as the background. For this scene, Bouguereau's daughter, Henriette, and son, Paul, served as models. Bouguereau used great care and attention in drawing the children's features and the positioning of their bodies, giving them an idyllic look. The girl's eyes look directly at the viewer and both children are shown with immaculate clothing.
- "William Bouguereau – The Elder Sister". The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Archived from the original on April 27, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Wissman, Fronia E. (1996). Bouguereau. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks. ISBN 978-0876545829.
- Patricia C. Johnson (July 8, 1992). "MFA acquires four noted works/New pieces include paintings by Manet and Bouguereau". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "Teaching with Art – The Elder Sister". The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "100 Highlights of the MFAH". The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Archived from the original on January 12, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "William Adolphe Bouguereau – French painter, teacher, frescoist & draftsman". Art Renewal Center. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "Bouguereau, William Adolphe, 1825–1905. The Elder Sister". FRESCO – The Frick Art Reference Library. 1869. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "Brooklyn Museum – The Elder Sister, reduction (La soeur aînée, réduction) (ca. 1864)". 1864. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- The Elder Sister, 1869, William Bouguereau, Google Art Project, www.googleartproject.com