Originally inspired by Degas’ bathers, this work depicts the nurturing quality of self-anointment and the “fragile nature of womankind”. The figure appears reflective, mindful of her solitude, and unaware of our gaze.
The theme of bathing figures is one used often by artists, notably Edgar Degas, whose work serves as inspiration for this sculpture. Capturing the simple action of a woman washing her hair, the viewer is allowed to intrude unnoticed on the figure, she reveals an innocent feminine quality enhanced by a suggestive yet carefree pose. The figure seems to be unaware that someone could be watching, her contemplative downward gaze underlines the intimacy of the moment. This introspection suggests a fragile nature and portrays, in a solitary moment, the nurturing quality of a woman in self-anointment.
From the back the figure is seen with a beautifully curving spine that compliments the slope of the shoulders and the opposing contra-posto position of the hips. Viewed from the front the lack of modesty in her seated position introduces a vulnerability that embellishes her fragile introspective nature.
The Bather was one of the first works created in the one-quarter life-size proportions that have remained the preferred dimensions of this artist.