The Bather. (1879)
Museo Teatro Salvador Dali
William Bouguereau. La Baigneuse. The Bather. (1879)
This painting of a young nude female by William Bouguereau titled Baigneuse (Bather) features a beautiful young woman standing amongst rock pools either preparing to bathe in the water at her feet or perhaps she has exited the water and is tying her hair back before she dresses. Her slender figure, small rounded breasts, skin tone and facial expression are captured with a photo like quality that only Bouguereau seemed to be able to achieve. Her clothes which appear to be a white tunic and blue cloak are laid casually on the rock behind suggesting that she is not expecting to be disturbed.
Her head is cocked slightly to her left and her eyes seem to be staring at you provocatively from out of the picture as if she were staring down a lens, almost inviting you to watch her while she slips into the water or redresses herself. She has her arms raised above her head as she adjusts her hair,appearing almost to be preparing to tie it with the hair that is draped loosely over her right wrist and through her hand.
Bouguereau was a master at portraying the female nude and used beautiful young provocative woman in sensual feminine poses as if inviting you into the piece with their bodies and there eyes.
It is my opinion that Bouguereau used the same models for some of his pieces.
The subject in this earlier work of 1869 entitled, Young worker bares a very similar likeness to the young woman used as the subject in the Bather (1870) reinforcing my belief that this was the case.
In these two facial close ups from Young worker, Jeune Ouvriere, and Baigneuse you can see a similarity in the facial features of the model used. Suggesting perhaps that she is indeed the same person.
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