As a young man, Bouguereau put himself through the Ecole des Beaux-Arts by keeping
books for a wine merchant and coloring lithographic labels for a local grocer. In his spare time, late in the evening, he
created drawings from memory. This diligence and discipline resulted in an extrordinarily productive artistic life.
Bouguereau produced more than seven hundred finished works and achieved a remarkable level of public acclaim and
financial success. He never forgot his difficult early days, however; working secretly, he assisted young artists who
were struggling as he had to pursue an artistic career in the face of financial difficulties.