The Bath (1923)
Sophie was saying to Triple P the other day that she was surprised at the lack of bathing beauties in Venus Observations, as we enjoy a young lady in the bath. We ventured that the issue is that it is such a popular subject for artists that you could have a blog that only showed women bathing and it could have hundreds if not thousands of posts. She replied that if that were 'bathers' then that would be true. Artists could put a naked woman next to any random stretch of water and call it a socially acceptable bathing painting. Depictions of women in bathtubs, however, is rather less popular and a comparatively recent phenomenon (as were baths themselves, in most people's homes). So we will post a few bathing beauties over the next few weeks in both painting and photography. This enables us to do some shorter posts as we are very busy at work at present and have several major papers to write.
This very fine example is by the Belgian painter Louis Buisseret (1888-1956), Buisseret began his studies at the age of sixteen in the the Art Academy of Bergen (the Dutch name for Mons, not the city in Norway) and then at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In 1911 he won first prize in the Prix de Rome and travelled to Italy to continue his studies. In 1922 he married Emilie Empain who was his principal model and is almost certainly the woman in this painting. What completely splendid thighs she has!
The painting was bought at the Barcelona World Fair in 1929 and now hangs in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya,