Georges Braque

Bather

1925

Original title
Baigneuse
Medium
Oil paint on board
Dimensions
Support: 670 x 543 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by C. Frank Stoop 1933
Reference
N04722

Display caption

In Europe the First World War was followed by a 'return to order' movement. In these years Braque, like many avant-garde artists of his generation, looked to classical models for inspiration. However, although the figure's statuesque proportions, her pose and drapes, recall ancient Greek and Roman prototypes, the painting is executed in a non-classical manner, with loosely undulating, sometimes seemingly tentative, lines and undefined areas of colour. The tension between the work's traditional subject matter and its modern style is heightened by the stark contrasts of the white drapery and green foliage against the black background, which give the work a strange, almost hallucinatory quality.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Georges Braque 1882-1963

N04722 Baigneuse (Bather) 1925

Inscribed 'G Braque | 25' b.l.
Oil on laminated board, 26 3/8 x 21 3/8 (67 x 54.5)
Bequeathed by C. Frank Stoop 1933
Prov: With Paul Rosenberg, Paris (purchased from the artist); C. Frank Stoop, London
Exh: Oeuvres de Braque, Paul Rosenberg, Paris, March 1926 (21) as 'Baigneuse' 1925; Braque and Rouault, Tate Gallery, April-May 1946 (65); Georges Braque, Kunsthalle, Basle, April-May 1960 (57)
Lit: George Isarlov, 'Georges Braque' in Orbes, No.3, Spring 1932, p.91, No.376 as 'Baigneuse'; Nicole S. Mangin, Catalogue de l'Oeuvre de Georges Braque: Peintures 1924-1927 (Paris 1968), p.43, repr. as 'Baigneuse'; Marco Valsecchi and Massimo Carrà, L'Opera Completa di Braque 1908-1929 (Milan 1971), No.289, p.99, repr. p.99 and pl.IL in colour
Repr: Cahiers d'Art, 1927, p.7

Between 1922 and 1926, Braque executed a series of oil paintings and large drawings of nudes of a semi-classical character. This picture, in which the figure is partly wrapped in a towel, has been known in recent years as 'Nude', but was originally exhibited as 'Bather'. It was probably painted later than [N04166], as it had the Paul Rosenberg photo number 1232 as against 1177.

Published in:
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, p.79, reproduced p.79

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