'Hello!' by William-Adolphe Bougeureau

French academic painters like Bougeureau loved to personify concepts such as 'Dawn,' 'Twilight,' and 'Spring,' almost always as a young woman without any clothes on.
Why? Well, it's much easier to sell a painting of a naked lady floating around in front of the sea called Evening Mood than it is to sell a painting of just a moonlit bay without any nudity in it, also called Evening Mood (especially if your patron is some nineteenth-century Parisian sleazeball with more money than taste).
Considering how many French academic paintings of nude young women personifying something or other there are in the world - (the Catawampus Museum of Art alone owns over 4,000 such canvases) - there must have been a lot of very rich Parisian pervs running about in the nineteenth century, commissioning this painter or that sculptor to whip his model's clothes off and start personifying.
And no doubt other "collectors" came from as far away as Belgium to acquire some smutty piece of personification for their study walls.
But don't blame me for this exhibition of Gallic filth. I'm just the curator.

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