">Name: Gustave Courbet's painting "The Bathers" the cause of much controversy
Artist: Gustave Courbet
Confronting Bodies: The French Salon
Date of Action: 1853
Specific Location: France
Description of Artwork: In "The Bathers" a rather fat woman is seen from behind stepping out of a small pool, stark naked except for a thin cloth that covers her lower buttocks. She makes a gesture towards her maid, who is sitting on the ground taking her shoes and stockings off. The maid is looking at the woman, but it is unclear what they might be thinking or saying to each other. People objected to its vulgarity and pointlessness. The nudes in paintings of this time were always graceful, classical figures. The nude in "The Bathers" is a more realistic representation of the female body, and thus more crude. In addition the common subject of a nude bather with her clothed companion was common at the time, but usually there was some sort of biblical or mythological narrative being told. Courbet's painting had no narrative.
|FileRoom Search | Table of Contents | Category Homepage | NCAC