Duncan Grant

Bathing

1911

In Tate Britain
Artist
Duncan Grant 1885–1978
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, London. The theme 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.
Grant’s design was inspired by Michelangelo’s male nudes and summers spent at the Serpentine in Hyde Park, which was a site associated with London’s gay culture. Bathing was seen as controversial at the time it was painted, due to its homoerotic implications.

Gallery label, March 2018

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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