An alternative title for this painting is Woman wiping her leg
. Like Degas, Bonnard made many paintings of women in the act of their toilette, combining intimacy with domesticity. The model for this painting was Bonnard’s wife, Marthe, the subject of many of his domestic portraits which explore and develop his characteristic use of colour and the nature of observation.
Nude Bending Down
The C C Land Exhibition: Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 57.1 x 52.7 cm Tate. Bequeathed by the Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968
Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) was a French artist who worked in the fields of painting, print-making, and photography. His work is best known for his use of colour, unusual vantage points and intimate portraits of domestic scenes from his own life. He was part of the Les Nabis group of avant-garde artists in the 1890s, alongside Paul Sérusier, Édouard Vuillard, and Maurice Denis. Bonnard often worked from memory, giving his paintings a dream-like quality.