Duncan Grant

Bathing

1911

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2286 x 3061 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1931
Reference
N04567

Display caption

This was painted in the summer of 1911 as part of a decorative scheme for the dining room at the Borough Polytechnic, at the Elephant and Castle, London. The theme of the room’s decoration was ‘London on Holiday’, and Grant responded by painting this idealised panorama of seven male nudes bathing. The nudes also represented the continuous movement of a single figure. Their bodies, like the water, are stylised to heighten the decorative effect of the image. Grant’s depiction of the male body was greatly influenced by Michelangelo’s ink studies and in particular his cartoon ‘Battle of Cascina’. The celebration of the male nude was underpinned by both artists by a personal homoerotic fascination.

Gallery label, February 2010

Catalogue entry

N04567 BATHING 1911
 
Not inscribed.
Casein or wax medium on canvas, 90×120 1/2 (229×306).
Purchased from the Borough Polytechnic (Clarke Fund) 1931.
Exh: Mural Decorative Paintings, Whitechapel Art Gallery, May–June 1935 (105).

See Adeney, N04568, and N04566.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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