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Artwork Review: Seated Bather by Renoir
Posted by Kenny on 7/4/2009 10:18:46 AM (ET)
Filed Under: General
 
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By the time Renoir painted this late Bather he had given up depicting the plump, rosy girls that had won him popularity and fame. The women of this period are massive and monumental, much like the classical Greek and Roman statues he admired. Their proportions are exaggerated. The small heads and long torsos and limbs relate them to those classic Venuses and also suggest that Renoir is a direct descendant of Titian, Rubens, and Ingres.

Seated Bather - Renoir

SEATED BATHER (1914)
Oil on Canvas

His austere palette contained fewer colors, yet the resultant skin tones were richer, ruddier, and more technically dazzling. He built up colour using layers of transparent glazes, then daubed rounded strokes of paint moulding torsos, arms, and legs like columns.

All his life Renoir maintained that his nudes were not erotic but sensuous, that in fact they reflected Nature in her purity and simplicity. These late, great paintings, done when Renoir was so crippled he could barely hold a brush, testify to his unceasing wonder at the regenerative power of the life force.

 
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