Pablo Picasso. Bather. winter 1908-09

Pablo Picasso


winter 1908-09

Oil on canvas
51 1/8 x 38 1/8" (129.8 x 96.8 cm)
Louise Reinhardt Smith Bequest
Object number
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Pablo Picasso has 1,238 works online.
There are 2,309 paintings online.

In Bather, Picasso used a nude female figure standing at the seaside as a testing ground for new representational possibilities, challenging pictorial conventions of space, beauty, and time. The background is simplified into three bands of color applied in flat, rough strokes. The bather’s body is broken into discrete parts; her breasts, stomach, and shoulders are hardened into geometric arcs and curves, and her right foot twists unnaturally. Traditional painting captures a single moment from a single perspective; Picasso depicted his bather’s torso from the front, rear, and side, presenting multiple views simultaneously.

Gallery label from 2011

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Paul Rosenberg, Paris
Mary Callery (1903-1977), Boulogne-sur-Seine and New York. [Probably acquired from Rosenberg in Paris in the 1930s]
Carlo Frua de Angeli, Milan (Mary Callery's second husband)
Ernst Beyeler, Basel
Louise Reinhardt Smith, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Louise Reinhardt Smith Bequest, 1995

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