The Eye: A sad picture with a potential for scandal

Today’s artwork chosen by Lindsay Snyder

AGE: 32

OCCUPATION: Marketing

NEIGHBORHOOD: Glen Park

THE PIECE OF ART I LOVE: “The Broken Pitcher” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1891)

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PIECE? I learned from a docent that “The Broken Pitcher” is the most-purchased postcard at the Legion of Honor, which was rather intriguing to me. It made me wonder what made it so popular. The docent said that it was considered pornographic in its day because the spigot is a phallic symbol and the broken pitcher is a sign of lost virginity. I couldn’t help but think that visitors to the museum were attracted to the painting’s scandalous subject matter. But it could be that, like me, they just thought the peasant girl had a sweet face and there appeared to be something beautiful on the horizon.

HOW DID YOU DISCOVER IT? I took a tour of the permanent collection at the Legion of Honor recently and this painting was one of the docent’s favorites. She knew so many interesting details about it that I took a liking to it myself.

WHAT DO YOU MOST LIKE ABOUT IT? My favorite things about it are the girl’s droopy eyes, her wispy hair and the light that shines from behind her. To me, it’s a sad picture, but I like to think of the potential for scandal. It makes me feel like maybe the girl isn’t sad at all. Maybe she’s pleased with herself and her little secret.

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A cable car on the Powell-Hyde line ascends Russian Hill at Hyde and Chestnut streets. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Streetcars and cable cars to return later this year

F-line coming back in May, while Powell/Hyde will be restored in the Fall

Mayor London Breed announces The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

The deYoung Museum will reopen to the public March 6 with an exhibition of works by Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
de Young Museum to reopen with ‘Calder-Picasso’

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, The City’s museums and cultural institutions are reopening.… Continue reading

Oregon forward Lydia Giomi (14) goes into block Cardinal Hannah Jumps (33) shot and narrowly misses. No. 13 Ducks host No. 6 Stanford Cardinal at Matthew Knight Arena on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. (Tribune News Service)
Stanford women enter Pac-12 Tournament as No. 1 seed

College basketball schedule for March released

Most Read