19th Century European Paintings

19th Century European Paintings

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 10. JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME | Femmes au bain.

Property from the Najd Collection

JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME | Femmes au bain

Auction Closed

December 11, 03:18 PM GMT


400,000 - 600,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from the Najd Collection



1824 - 1904

Femmes au bain

signed J. L. GEROME lower left

oil on canvas

57 by 47cm., 22½ by 18½in.

The loan of this painting has been requested for the forthcoming exhibition "Odalisques. From Ingres to Picasso" at the Museum of Fine Arts of Granada within the Monumental Complex of la Alhambra and Generalife from November 2020 until February 2021.

Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 25 November 1977, lot 59 (as Femmes au bain maure)

Shepherd Gallery, New York (by 1983)

Mathaf Gallery, London

Purchased from the above 

Oeuvres de J.L Gérôme, vol. III 

Le Figaro illustré, July 1901 (titled Femmes au bain)

Possibly, Fanny Field Hering, The Life and Works of Jean-Léon Gérôme, New York, 1892, p. 264 (as Woman Bathing her Feet)

Gerald M. Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme, Paris, 1986, pp. 266-67, no. 375, catalogued & illustrated (as Women Bathing/Femmes au bain, circa 1889)

Caroline Juler, Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings, London, 1991, p. 141, described, p. 152d, catalogued & illustrated

Gerald M. Ackerman, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Monographie révisée, Paris, 2000, p. 149, illustrated, pp. 326-27, no. 375, catalogued & illustrated (as Femmes au bain, circa 1889)

Six years after visiting the New Baths in Bursa in 1879, Gérôme produced the most celebrated and impressive of his bath scene paintings, La Grande piscine à Brousse. Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1885, Fanny Field Hering recalled in her 1892 monograph on Gérôme that the picture 'aroused the most enthusiastic admiration' and declared that it was 'probably the most remarkable of his pictures of this genre' (Hering, Gérôme, His Life and Works, New York, 1892, p. 247). The success of that painting prompted the artist to paint a series of bath scenes which went on to occupy a central position within his oeuvre in the 1880s and 1890s.

The interior, with its wall of blue tiles, may have been assembled from photographs, memories, and Gérôme's own props (sections of his studio were covered with tiles he had brought back with him from the Middle East). He visited Constantinople twice in 1875 where he met the Abdullah brothers, the famous Turkish photographers and founders of the Abdullah Frères firm, as well as his old student Seker Ahmet Pasha. Later, in 1877, Abdullah Frères arranged the taking of specific photographs of the city, mainly of interiors, which Gérôme was able to use to work up backgrounds such as the present one.

We are grateful to Dr Emily M. Weeks for her assistance in cataloguing this work which will be included in her revision of the artist's catalogue raisonné by Gerald M. Ackerman.