Bather of Valpinson (big bather) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Bather of Valpinson (big bather) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

This picture – one of the “premises”, which Ingres, as a student of the French Academy in Rome, sent to the Paris Academy. Its other name is “The Big Bather”.

Before us – the first of the famous nude artist, striking an amazing balance of classical form and realistic details. Smooth, marble-like, the bather’s back forms the central axis of the composition. The heroine’s head turned away from the viewer, hiding her face. The right hand of the bather is slightly bent at the elbow back.

The right leg is positioned so that we can see its sole. The Ingres

skillfully creates complex rhythmic forms within a simple unbroken contour. The body of the bather is amazingly inscribed in the “scenery”. The folds of the dark curtains on the left and the deep folds on the blanket emphasize the vertical direction of the back of the bather, and the folds of the turban “echo” with the lines of her ear and ringlets.

Except for the red “spots” on the turban, all the colors in the picture are muffled. Ingres shines its composition with a bright light, which makes the general atmosphere unusually intimate.

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