Julio González

Nude Girl Washing Herself


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Jeune fille nue se lavant
Pastel on paper
Support: 356 × 273 mm
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972

Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01595 Jeune Fille nue se lavant (Nude Girl washing Herself) c.1914-18

Not inscribed
Pastel on red-brown paper, 13 15/16 x 10 1/4 (35.4 x 26)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Nus (Paris 1975), p.65 repr. (dated c.1914-18)

This pastel is related to one of González's early repoussé reliefs in beaten iron ('Standing Nude' c.1914-16, 43.5cm high, now in the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris), which shows the same figure in a similar pose, but seen from the front instead of from the back and facing to the right instead of to the left. Moreover the relief shows her without the towel and with the head turned upwards, gazing at the raised hands. The sculpture has an irregular edge which corresponds more or less on the right-hand side to the outline of the towel.

It is possible that this drawing gave González the idea of making the relief, with various modifications. There are two further drawings reproduced by Gibert, op. cit., pp.60 and 66, which show the figure the same way round as in the relief, and which may represent intermediate stages. That González sometimes used his drawings of this kind as studies for repoussé reliefs is confirmed by the very close relationship between a drawing reproduced by Gibert, op. cit., p.34 and the relief in beaten copper known as 'Kneeling Nude', c.1914.

[All the drawings by Julio González given to the Tate are authenticated on the back by his daughter Roberta González and inscribed with a title and date, or approximate date. The titles are used in the catalogue entries, but the dating has been made more precise wherever possible. (Julio González's drawings are usually dated from about 1934 onwards, but the great majority of the early drawings are undated).]

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.311, reproduced p.311

You might like