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Bathing Women Henry Lerolle


Henry Lerolle Paris 1848 – 1929 Paris

Culture French
Date late 19th century
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

219 x 150 cm

Inventory number 49.B
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Henry Lerolle, painter, musician, art patron and collector, was a major figure on the Parisian art scene at the turn of the century, who open-mindedly embraced the formal innovations of his impressionist and symbolist contemporaries. He collected works by Edgar Degas, Maurice Denis, Auguste Renoir and Puvis de Chavannes, among others. The combined influence of these artists can be discerned in this painting Bathing Women, but Lerolle’s fusion of Impressionist grace and physical sensuality with symbolist decorativeness is uniquely his own.
Lerolle’s painting has no mythological or historical allusions, and the figures are so similar in appearance that they could be sisters: one is standing on the grassy bank, while her companion is about to lower herself into the lake; the third young woman is already knee-deep in water. It is as if we were following a sequence of movements. The three figures form a self-contained oval that echoes the concentric waves. Lerolle paid particular attention to the ripples on the surface, which almost become one with the reflection of the sun, highlighting the white bodies of the bathing women.

Zsófia Kovács

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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