73.7 x 59.8cm sight; 94.0 x 80.0 x 7.0cm frame
The most gifted artists seem able to imbue drawing with the volumetric quality of sculpture. Degas was such an artist and this is just such a drawing. Seeming to explain everything essential and nothing inessential in the scene, the work is no more than a sketch, but nothing less than a masterpiece. With his colleague Manet, Degas shared the distinction of being the most academically accomplished of the artists associated with impressionism. In his drawings particularly, he sought to establish values of permanence and solidity as opposed to the more transient effects found in his painting. Here, the massive bathtub is handled with the same candour and concern for corporeal truth as the nude. In another sensibility, the conjunction of these elements would represent an erotic site. For Degas, it is merely a point of structural necessity; necessity, and therefore beauty: the bath is a plinth that prevents the model toppling. Degas's sensitivity to the forms and actions of the female body arguably mitigates against a voyeuristic or misogynist reading of his work.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.
'What lies beneath 95% of gallery's art collection hidden in basement' by Frank Walker, pg. 18., Herald Sun 30 Dec 2007, 30 Dec 2007, 18.
Charles Harrison (England, b.1942, d.2009), Painting the difference: sex and spectator in modern art, 2004, (illus.).
Margaret Olley (Australia, b.1923, d.2011) (Author), Jeffrey Smart (Italy; Australia, b.1921) (Author), Deborah Hart (South Africa; United Kingdom; Australia, b.1959) (Director), Christine France (Australia) (Co-ordinator), Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart selections, Sydney, 2002. NOTE: No catalogue numbers; Margaret Olley selection.
'Of Gods and Men: Drawing the figure' by Terence Maloon, pg. 8-11, Look Nov 1999, Nov 1999, 11 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 85 (illus.).
Terence Maloon (Australia) (Editor), Peter Raissis (Australia) (Editor), Michelangelo to Matisse: Drawing the figure, Domain, 1999, 183 (colour illus.). cat.no. 175
Anthony Bond (England; Australia) (Author), Body, Melbourne, 1997, 14, 130 (colour illus.). figure 144, cat.no. 37
'The LOL who gave us all a $600,000 gift' by Peter Cochrane., The Sydney Morning Herald 28 May 1994, 28 May 1994, 3 (illus.).
Renée Free (Australia) (Author), Modernism 1900-1950 - Prints and Drawings from the Collection, Sydney, 1994, (illus.). no catalogue numbers
Robin Gibson Gallery (Australia, estab. 1976) (Author), British and French Paintings Drawings & Sculpture 1895 - 1993 from Browse & Darby, Sydney, 1994, (illus.). cat.no. 1
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 142 (colour illus.), 141.
Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874) (Author), Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers
Fondation Pierre Gianadda (Switzerland) (Author), Degas, Switzerland, 1993. cat.no. 83
Denys Sutton (England, b.1917, d.1991) (Author), Degas, England, 1970, 60, 61 (illus). cat.no. 20. This record is entered as 'Femme nue s'essuyant'.
Degas, The Lefevre Gallery, 04 Jun 1970–04 Jul 1970.
Degas, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, 19 Jun 1993–21 Nov 1993.
British and French paintings drawings and sculpture 1895 - 1993 from Browse and Darby, Robin Gibson Gallery, 04 Mar 1994–23 Mar 1994.
Modernism 1900-1950 - Prints and Drawings from the Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 23 Jul 1994–25 Sep 1994.
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994.
Body, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 12 Sep 1997–16 Nov 1997.
Michelangelo to Matisse: Drawing the figure, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 20 Nov 1999–27 Feb 2000.
Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart (2002), S.H. Ervin Gallery, 12 Jan 2002–24 Feb 2002.
Monet and the Impressionists, Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 14 Feb 2009–17 May 2009.