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A woman is glimpsed quietly wiping her leg. The steadied pose and glowing treatment of the body capture the intimacy of everyday life. Bonnard's model was his companion, Marthe, whose body was regularly at the heart of his paintings and the apparent surreptitiousness may be understood as part of their daily relationship. Although her nakedness suggests sensuality, Marthe's prolonged bathing was linked to a tubercular (or possibly neurotic) condition.

July 2008