Vierge Aux Anges, Song of Angels, 1881, hangs at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, CA, USA. It
became re-appreciated from an exhibition at the Getty Museum, where the full size masterpiece was
hung next to the reduction. The precision of the perfect copy, also one hundred percent by
Bouguereau, and the overall power of both pieces, became one of the most popular exhibitions the
Getty had ever had. The serene Mary and baby Jesus sleep, surrounded by nature, as three angels
play them a lullaby. All the figures are painted with beautiful, ethereal, perfection. When
Bouguereau painted a series of angels, he usually used the same figure multiple times. In the
Pieta, 1876, the eight angels are only two different individuals, and in Regina Angelorum, 1900,
all twenty-one angels are the same girl. Song of Angels is no different. Bouguereau strived for
perfection and would often use the hands of one model, the eyes of another, hair from yet a third,
etc. In his religious works and his depictions of the holy, he took extra care in finding a
compelling human image that could capture the divine, and once he found what he wanted, he did not
stray. I believe this was also a statement on the nature of the divine; that a holy presence may
feel as powerful as the souls of many, but in truth, it is one power. The three angels in Vierge
Aux Anges are also a foreshadowing of the nature of the holy trinity, and are representative of the
father, the son and the holy ghost. The mother and child sleep in peace unaware of the suffering
that is destined to follow.
-by Kara Lysandra Ross.
Excerpt from the article: William Bouguereau and his Religious Works.