This painting was finished by Renoir in 1887, but he invested up to 3 years of work in it, since in some way he poured into this canvas the result of many of his research on impressionist art. Without forgetting that this oil painting on canvas that is now exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the United States, would be unthinkable without the influences he received during his trip to Italy in 1881 where he learned first-hand the art of the great masters of the past.
Renoir's Great Bathers
Even the theme also has a precedent in the past centuries, since it was inspired by a large relief by Françoise Girardon (1628 – 1715), en titled The Bath of the Nymphs and which is in Versailles. Although, an immediate reference when seeing this work are also the nudes of Ingres.
In general, in this work by Renoir you can see that drawing dominates, and you can practically see the lines that enclose the different masses of color. But he not only uses the drawing to close forms, he also creates volumes with it. And the great success of the artist is that he does not pose a confrontation between drawing and color, but rather he is able to do everything as one with the aim of achieving a most voluptuous image.
Somehow what he does face is the line inspired by artromantic by Dominique Ingres with the resounding figures of the baroque painting of Rubens, but all this unique through backgrounds created with absolutely loose strokes. In general we could say that he is using impressionistic light and color with a drawing that outlines and precise the figures.
Renoir painted scenes of bathers on several occasions, and in all of them nude women appear, in groups or individually. And it is that in this type of painting the painter only has one objective, which is none other than to portray beauty, for him represented in the female figure.
And another characteristic that unites all these paintings of bathers that presents us with anonymous women but in a clearly monumental way, which is not at odds with the load of sensuality they convey. In some way, all these women are attractive and above all they smile at the viewer. They are cute scenes. It is something that lasted throughout the years in Renoir's paintings, since one of his last works is also some Large Bathers that he made in 1917, when his physical conditions (he was bedridden in a wheelchair) made it very difficult for me to paint and yet I did.