Gardner-Bouguereau, Elizabeth

BORN 4 Oct 1837, Exeter, New Hampshire - DIED 28 Jan 1922, Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine
BIRTH NAME Gardner, Elizabeth Jane
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 12)

Elizabeth Jane Gardner was first taught at the Young Ladies' Female Academy in Exeter and the Lasell Female Seminary in Auburndale, Massachusetts. She taught french for several years in Worcester, Massachusetts and taught art at the Lasell Seminary.

In 1864 she left for Paris with her friend and former teacher Imogene Robinson. She earned money by copying paintings, burt her application to enter the École des Beaux-Arts was denied because she was a woman. She took private classes and in 1868 she was the first woman who exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1868. By that time she and Adolphe Bouguereau had fallen in love, but he was married. In 1868 she took a studio next to his in Montmarte.

To be able to study anatomy fron nude models she cut her hair and posed as a man to be admitted at the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins et de la Savonnerie. In 1873 she was allowed to enter the Académie Julian where Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Bouguereau were her teachers. Her painting style closely resembled that of Bouguereau and often her works were mistaken as his.

Bouguereau's wife died in 1877 but his mother strongly objected against a marriage to Gardner and he had to promise her that he wouldn't remarry during her lifetime. After his mother died they finally married in 1896. During her marriage she halted her painting career, but after Bouguerau died in 1905 she resumed painting. She died in 1922 and was buried with Bouguereau at Montmartre cemetery in Paris.

• Husband: Bouguereau, William (1896-1905)

Related persons
• was pupil of Lefebvre, Jules


The grave of William Bouguereau at Montparnasse Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (22 May 1999)


Elizabeth Jane Gardner - Wikipedia

Gargallo, Pablo

Published: 27 Feb 2021
Last update: 02 Apr 2023