Pierre Bonnard

Nude Bending Down


Not on display

Pierre Bonnard 1867–1947
Original title
Femme nue se baissant
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 571 × 527 mm
frame: 853 × 801 × 108 mm
Bequeathed by the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968

Display caption

A woman is glimpsed quietly wiping her leg. The steadied pose and glowing treatment of the body capture the intimacy of everyday life. Bonnard's model was his companion, Marthe, whose body was regularly at the heart of his paintings and the apparent surreptitiousness may be understood as part of their daily relationship. Although her nakedness suggests sensuality, Marthe's prolonged bathing was linked to a tubercular (or possibly neurotic) condition.

Gallery label, July 2008

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Catalogue entry

Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947

T01076 Femme nue se baissant (Nude bending down) 1923

Inscribed 'Bonnard' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 22 1/2 x 20 3/4 (57 x 53)
Bequeathed by the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968
Prov: With Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (purchased from the artist, March 1923) sold by their branch in Lucerne, the Galerie de l'Art Moderne; the Marquis de Bolli, Paris; with Arthur Tooth and Sons, London; the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie, London, 1958
Exh: Pierre Bonnard, RA, London, January-March 1966 (164)
Lit: Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard (Paris 1973), No.1215, Vol.3, p.181 repr. as 'Femme s'essuyant la Jambe' or 'Femme nue se baissant' and dated 1923
Repr: The Friends of the Tate Gallery: Annual Report 1st May 1968-30th April 1969 (London 1969), on cover

Also known as 'Woman wiping her Leg'.

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.66, reproduced p.66

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