I know this all been hashed out before at length, but I think its entirely possible that Bouguereau's work will always have a lasting appeal for at least two groups of people (despite whatever else might happen) - straight men and people who like angels. Likewise, it’s probably equally possible that straight women, and people who don’t like angels, will always find it somewhat distasteful. That may sound messed up when I say it, but to divorce his work from the sexual element and pretend that it isn’t influencing anything, is kind of just being dishonest with ourselves. I can say with some confidence, that if it were a bunch of nude men swinging around in the forest instead of young women, the painting would not hold the same interest for me. I might still appreciate it in other respects, for a quality of stillness, or levitation, or something of that sort, but would it really command my attention for an hour like 'Les Oreades' or ‘Evening Mood’? Probably not.