Dalou began modelling his nude studies in earnest during his exile in London from 1871 and probably continued until the 1890's. The nudes display a fascination with the subject. The sculptor worked and re-worked a series of models depicting nudes in guises typical of the genre, such as before and after the bath, towelling themselves, standing, bending down, or seated, taken by surprise or removing their stockings. These were more intimate sculptures than his studies of labourers and number among Dalou’s finest works. He chose to keep them private and they were never exhibited publicly at the Salon; they would be seen only in his studio or at private exhibitions. Despite this, they did not escape notice and his works of female nudes were well known, celebrated and collected during his lifetime.
Both the quality and the condition of the present marble are excellent.
A. Simier, Jules Dalou: Le sculpteur de la République, exh. cat. Petit Palais - Musées des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 2013, pp. 386-387, no. 314
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