Young Girl Defending Herself against Cupid, 1880
Oil on canvas
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
Here we see Bouguereau at his best - a young nude woman sits with her arms outstretched, pushing away a winged boy. He is Cupid, the god of love, holding up an arrow to pierce her. The title suggests that the young woman is trying to defend herself, yet she smiles and struggles unconvincingly against the mischievous little god.