Western Art: 600 Years of Women Getting Out Of Bathtubs -The Toast

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EUROPE, 1500

“Ah, gentleman. I’m glad to see you’ve all managed to arrive safely. I trust you had pleasant journeys.”

Murmurs of assent.

“Let us begin. Europe is at the height of her cultural and political influence; we have the riches of the classical world as well as the novelties of the Age of Discovery to draw upon as we enter a new era of artistic expression. What, then, shall we paint?”

Abashed silence.

“Nothing? Gentlemen, I’m surprised at you. Speak up.”

A small voice from the back of the room.

“What if…what if we draw a lot of pictures of women getting out of the bathtub? From behind?”

Astonished whispersBathtubs, women, balderdash, nonsense, never heard of such a thing, backsides. 

“Let him speak, gentleman.”

“I think…I think it would be interesting. To just paint a lot of women, stepping out of bathtubs, from the back, for the foreseeable future.”

“Could we also draw these women stepping into the bathtub? Or in the act of bathing itself?”

“No. Only immediately after.”

Another voice interjects.

“Could the ladies be painted from another angle? Facing the painter, for example, or three-quarte–”

“Ladies, stepping out of tubs, from behind.”

“I see. And what kind of fully-bathed women shall we paint?”

“Just tall, Dutch-looking women with braided hair. That’s it.”

“That’s it?”

“Well, maybe a few French ladies. But nobody else.”

“Gentlemen? Shall we put it to a vote?”

The motion carries, unanimously.

Edgar Degas, Woman At Her Bath


Albrecht Dürer, Woman’s Bath


Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Large Bathers


François Boucher, Diana After the Bath


Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, The Turkish Bath


Edward Degas, Breakfast After A Bath


John Reinhard Weguelin, The Bath


Anders Zorn, Le Tub


Hermann Pleuer, The Bathing Girls


Vladimir Alexandrovich Plotnikov, In The Bath House


Tony Robert-Fleury, Le Bain


Anders Zorn, Girls from Dalarna in the sauna


Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bather Sitting


Paul Peel, A Venetian Bather


Henri Gervex, The Tubgervex

Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Bathers


André Favory, Bathing Nude


Edward Degas, The Bath — Woman Supporting Her Back


Edward Degas, Candaules’s Wife


Alexandre Jacques Chantron, Pleasures of Summerchantronbath


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