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Art / The Return of Spring

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The Return of Spring (French: Le Printemps) is the 1886 oil painting by French Neoclassical painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

The Return of Spring was given as a gift to Francis T. B. Martin from George W. Lininger and is currently in the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.


The Return of Spring provides examples of:

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: With its title, it can only be presumed that the woman front and center is meant to represent the season of Spring.
  • Contrapposto Pose: The woman stands in this pose, favoring her left leg and bending her torso to the left.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: While her vagina is unobstructed, her crossed arms leaves her breasts unexposed.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: The painting was considered erotic even by French standards, with two failed attempts at its destruction by Moral Guardians (first in 1890 and later in 1976) for its overt sensual nudity ending in only minimal damage.
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  • Our Nymphs Are Different: The description provided for it on the Joslyn Art Museum website describes the female nude as a nymph, presumably a lesser goddess of the titular season.
  • Putto: There are a grand total of nine winged cherubs accompanying the woman.

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