Pierre Bonnard

Bathing Woman, Seen from the Back


Not on display

Pierre Bonnard 1867–1947
Original title
Baigneuse, de dos
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 441 × 346 mm
frame: 631 × 534 × 105 mm
Bequeathed by the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968

Display caption

The bather was almost certainly Bonnard's companion and wife-to-be Marthe, who was the artist's constant and favourite model. Like Degas before him, Bonnard liked to present his nude female figures in domestic settings, caught in mid-movement during some act of their toilette. He sketched and photographed Marthe as she bathed and dressed, and used these images as a reminder when executing his oil paintings in the studio. As shown in this painting, Bonnard was particularly interested in the play of reflections of coloured light on the body and the room.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947

T01077 Baigneuse, de Dos (Bathing Woman, from the Back) c.1919

Inscribed 'Bonnard' b.r. and 'Pour mon ... | Gerard' on the back (the latter part of the inscription is partly illegible)
Oil on canvas, 17 3/8 x 13 5/8 (44 x 34.5)
Bequeathed by the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968
Prov: Given by the artist to Gérard (?); private collection, Paris; with Lefevre Gallery, London; the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie, London, 1951
Exh: The Pleydell-Bouverie Collection, Tate Gallery, January-April 1954 (3) as 'Nude' 1920; Pierre Bonnard, RA, London, January-March 1966 (165) as 'Nude' c.1923
Lit: Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard (Paris 1968), No.968, Vol.2, p.452, repr. as 'Baigneuse, de Dos' and dated c.1919
Repr: The Friends of the Tate Gallery: Annual Report 1st May 1968-30th April 1969 (London 1969), p.13

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.65, reproduced p.65

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