Property from the Najd Collection
1824 - 1904
Femmes fellahs au bain
signed J.L.GEROME lower left
oil on canvas
Unframed: 49 by 74cm., 19 by 29in.
Framed: 82.5 by 106cm., 32½ by 41¾in.
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.
The canvas has been relined. Ultra-violet light reveals an even varnish and some very small spots of retouching to the upper part of the left framing edge; a few other minimal spots are visible. This work is in good condition and ready to hang.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
In the soft light of evening, a group of women bathe and fetch water on the banks of the Canal de Joseph (or Bahr Yussef in Arabic) outside Medinet El-Fayoum, the oldest city in Egypt, which is located some eighty miles southwest of Cairo. Gérôme first explored the subject in two earlier paintings of 1870, one of which is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the other formerly in the Najd Collection. All three versions are inspired by the artist's visit to the city in 1868.
Paul Lenoir, Gérôme's travelling companion who accompanied him on his 1868 tour of Egypt, vividly described the scene along the canal between Sinuris and Medinet El-Fayoum in his records published in 1872: 'The women seem to have chosen this spot to come and draw their water...From the rising of the sun to its setting, hundreds of women and young girls came down to this spot following each other in procession with the majesty of vestals who go to the sacrifice.'