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The Bathers

Nicolas Lancret

(1690 - 1743) | 811.42

Date : Circa 1718 | Medium : Oil on canvas

J. B. Descamp collection

The theme of bathers was very much in fashion in the early 18th century and provided an opportunity to portray female nudes in a natural yet piquant fashion. Here three young bathers shield themselves from the gaze of three ruffians who have surprised them in a park.  The setting sun reflects in the water, caressing their velvety skin and lighting up the fabric. The everyday situation and candid pose of the topless beauty are in sharp contrast to the affectedness of her clothed companion on the bank. Lancret is an emulator of Watteau, painter of ‘fêtes galantes’, but here he reveals his own particular temperament.