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Although this painting depicts a fleeting moment when one bather playfully threatens to splash a companion, it has a timeless, monumental quality. The sculptural rendering of the figures against a shimmering landscape and the careful application of dry paint reflect the tradition of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French painting. Renoir--in an attempt to reconcile this tradition with modern painting--labored over this work for three years, making numerous preparatory drawings for individual figures and at least two full-scale, multifigure drawings. Faced with criticism of his new style after completing The Large Bathers, an exhausted Renoir never again devoted such painstaking effort to a single work.

Details

  • Title: The Large Bathers
  • Creator Lifespan: 1841/1919
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
  • Creator Birth Place: Limoges, France
  • Date Created: 1884/1887
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: w67.24 x h46.38 in (Overall)
  • Provenance: The Mr. and Mrs. Carroll S. Tyson, Jr., Collection, 1963
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
  • External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Artist/Maker: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841 - 1919

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