Exhibition catalogue text
35 The Bowl of Milk 1919
Le Bol de lait
Oil on canvas 116.2 x 121 (45 3/4 x 47 5/8)
Tate Gallery. Bequeathed by Edward Le Bas 1967
Of the nine preparatory drawings for this painting that are known [Tate Gallery T06536-T06544], five are figure studies. One is a drawing of a woman placing (or picking up) something on the table by the window. This may have preceded three sketches showing the interior with two figures, a woman who is probably Marthe and a young girl carrying a basket. The fifth is a sketch for the figure of the woman in the oil which appears to be based on a Kore such as the one seen in fig.70 [p.122: Kore c.530 BC, marble from Paros H.121 (47 5/8); Acropolis Museum, Athens]. Her dress is virtually identical to the traditional girded Dorian peplos worn over a linen chiton with a wide selvage at the neck.
The setting is the dining room in the house Bonnard rented at Antibes in December 1918. The painting was completed in time to be shown at the Salon des Ind¿pendants in January 1920 (as Int¿rieur), where it was bought by the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. It was shown at the Galerie E. Druet, Paris, in April 1924 as Int¿rieur ¿ Antibes, and at Rosenberg and Helft, London, from September to October 1937 with the English title, The Bowl of Milk, a title that has since been adopted.
The same interior is seen in three other oils, Dauberville 976, 978 and 980.
Sarah Whitfield and John Elderfield, Bonnard, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1998, p.122 no.35, reproduced in colour p.123