Philip Wilson Steer
The Toilet of Venus 1898

Artwork details

Philip Wilson Steer 1860–1942
The Toilet of Venus
Date 1898
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2553 x 1835 mm
Acquisition Presented by Frank Lycett Green 1927
Not on display

Display caption

Following his infatuation for his young model Rosie Pettigrew, Steer unexpectedly turned to painting two erotic subjects from the Old Masters, a 'Rape of the Sabines' and this 'Toilet of Venus', which is his largest canvas. He moved on from the bright, out-of-doors colouring of his Impressionist series to a manner based on the monochrome oil sketches of the French eighteenth-century painter Fragonard. In this painting he also made a specific homage to Gainsborough's 'Musidora' (displayed in room 3). There was in the years around 1900 a renewal of interest in the furniture and art of the French Rococo. Steer did not exhibit the picture until 1924.

September 2004

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