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William Adolphe Bouguereau was born in La Rochelle, France in 1825. When he was very young, he was sent to school at Pons where he showed his aptness for drawing. When older he was sent to Bordeaux to a business house, but attended art school for a couple of hours each day. He won a prize over all the daily art students and decided to become a painter.
First he went to his uncle, a priest in Saintouge, for instruction and painted portraits of people of that region (showing 500 of 10214 characters).