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“The Large Bathers” by Auguste Renoir

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

“The Large Bathers” by Auguste Renoir

“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 in an impressionist light.

This painting 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 art. Renoir admired Rubens, Titian, and Raphael’s works, and he was trying to find an integrated form 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 more conventionally and gave up painting outdoors and made the female nude, his primary focus. Unfortunately, after completing “The Large Bathers,” Renoir was criticized because of his new style.

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

The Large Bathers

  • 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

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A Tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art


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


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

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