Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947
N04495 Baignoire or Le Bain (The Bath) 1925
Oil on canvas, 33 7/8 x 47 1/2 (86 x 120.5) approximately; the painted area is not a perfect rectangle
Presented by Lord Ivor Spencer Churchill through the CAS 1930
Prov: With Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (purchased from the artist, 7 December 1925); Lord Ivor Spencer Churchill, London, 1927
Exh: Salon d'Automne, Paris, September-November 1925 (140) as 'Baignoire'; The CAS: Second Loan Exhibition of Foreign Paintings, M. Knoedler, London, February 1928 (52); Acquisitions of the CAS, Tate Gallery, September-October 1946 (7); Paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, RSA, Edinburgh, August-September 1948 (27, repr.); Bonnard, Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London, June 1950 (5, repr.); Pierre Bonnard, RA, London, January-March 1966 (177, repr.)
Lit: Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard (Paris 1973), No.1334, Vol.3, p.271, repr.
Repr: L'Amour de l'Art, VI, 1925, p.357; André Fermigier, Pierre Bonnard (London 1970), p.127 in colour
Bonnard painted a number of pictures of women bathing, the later examples becoming increasingly richer and more elaborate in colour. The woman in this picture is probably Marthe Bonnard.
As he habitually worked with his canvases pinned to the wall instead of mounted on a stretcher, it sometimes happened, as in this case, that the painted area was not a perfect rectangle.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.67-8, reproduced p.67