User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Fraternal Love

Start collecting

Bouguereau enjoyed a lifetime of official favor and commercial success and carried the tradition of French academic painting to the turn of the twentieth century. As a young man, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome, which enabled him to study in Italy for four years. Fraternal Love,...

Show Full Description


Lower right: W. BOVGVEREAV. 1851.


1864, possibly with the Artists' Fund Society, New York [see note 1]. By 1869, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 2]; 1908, gift of the estate of Thomas Wigglesworth to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 9, 1908) NOTES: [1] This painting was once identified as the Holy Family. It might be the "Holy Family" by Bouguereau for sale at the Fifth Annual sale of Paintings, Artists' Fund Society, New York, 1864 (no. 174), although this has not been verified. It has also been suggested that the New York dealer Samuel Putnam Avery acquired this, possibly from Durand-Ruel, and sold it in New York in 1868 (as "Fraternal Love"). This too has not been verified. [2] He lent this painting to the "Forty-Fifth Exhibition" (Boston Atheneaum, 1869), cat. no. 258.

Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of Thomas Wigglesworth



147 x 113.7 cm (57 7/8 x 44 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas