Dalou's intimate female nudes showcase the sculptor's marvellous dexterity, as the malleable clay captures the soft and curved essence of the female form. Delicately observed, the nudes are nevertheless focused on the realism of folds of flesh and moments of everyday life. The Baigneuse avant le bain
clasps her arms across her chest against the cold, perhaps in the instant before bathing.
The present example of this model is a rare Sèvres grès earthenware cast with a terracotta colouration. Like the bronze editions of these models, the Sèvres casts are posthumous and were produced in the first two decades of the twentieth century.
A. Simier, Jules Dalou, Le sculpteur de la République: Catalogue des sculptures de Jules Dalou conserves au Petit Palais, exh. cat. Petit Palais - Musées des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 2013, pp. 388-389, no. 315