The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in Art & History

The Large Bathers

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French - The Large Bathers - Google Art Project

“The Large Bathers” or “Les Grandes Baigneuses” by Auguste Renoir depicts a scene of nude women bathing. The figures have a sculptural quality, while the landscape behind them is bathed with an impressionist light.

This was a new style for Renoir, who sought to reconcile the modern topics and painting styles with the traditions of the 17th and 18th century painting. Renoir admired Rubens, Titian and Raphael’s works, and he was trying to find an integrated style of the old masters and the new impressionist style.

“The Large Bathers” was inspired in part by a sculpture by François Girardon, The Bath of the Nymphs (1672), a low lead relief realized for a fountain park of Versailles. Renoir also admired Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and would have been influenced by his painting “The Turkish Bath (Le Bain Turc)”

Le Bain Turc, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, from C2RMF retouched

The Large Bathers” also reflects the influence of the frescoes of Raphael. These two great artists, Raphael and Ingres began to influence Renoir’s style of painting and drawing.  He started to paint in a more conventional manner and gave up painting outdoors and made the female nude, his main focus. Unfortunately after completing “The Large Bathers”, Renoir was criticised because of his new style.

Renoir left us a rich legacy of masterpieces. His style change during his long life and a time of significant social change. Renoir’s paintings can be found in Museums across the world and some of his most popular are:

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                         The Large Bathers
  • Artist:                       Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Year:                         1884–1887
  • Style:                        Impressionist
  • Type:                        Oil paint on canvas
  • Dimensions:           115 cm × 170 cm (3′ 10″ × 5′ 5″ )
  • Museum:                 Philadelphia Museum of Art

Artist Essential Facts:

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“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” Auguste Renoir

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Photo Credit: 1) By Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841 – 1919 (1841 – 1919) – Artist/Maker (French) Born in Limoges, France. Dead in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. Details of artist on Google Art Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 2) Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons