Naked man, Caillebotte

Naked man, Caillebotte
Naked man, Caillebotte

Throughout the centuries numerous artists have given us works in which the characters appear nude, in this sense the figure without clothes, whether of a man or a woman, is not considered anything new, although it is true that during certain times and specific situations nude works were not particularly well received. In this context, it seems strange to point out, then, that the work we are analyzing here caused a great stir in Parisian society in the 19th century when it was a modern society, increasingly advanced and in which the squeamishness of the predecessor stages.


The piece was painted at the end of the 19th century, around 1884, and presented to the general public at the Les XX exhibition, in which artists such as Gauguin, Cezanne and Pissarro, among others, participated. The stir caused by Caillebotte's work was so great that the artist had to withdraw his work from the exhibition in the face of fervent criticism, and it is true that Parisian society was quite modern for its time the work de Caillebotte broke with the established schemes in the world of art.

By now, women had already been represented in multiple nude positions, from traditional Greek sculptures to the sensual figures of romanticist painters, including mythological scenes in which womenYoung women often wore scant clothing; however, the male nude was still anchored to the time of the gods, they were bland beings that could hardly be framed in a space and time while the Naked Man in the bathroom was a man of his time.

Gustave Caillebotte (1848 – 1894) was a Parisian painter and printmaker. Son of a we althy family, his first steps in the world of painting were in the workshop of León Bonnat and later he joined the School of Fine Arts in Paris where he did not finish his studies as he inherited a small fortune from the family inheritance. which allowed him to devote himself exclusively to painting.Caillebotte is a faithful admirer of pictorial realismas can be seen in some of his works such as The Parquet Slashers or in the same canvas that we analyze here.

We find a naked man who has just come out of the bathroom and is about to dry himself with a towel, despite being the only character in the composition, he does not occupy the center but appears slightly off. The man appears with his back to the viewer, oblivious to his presence and busy with his work while his clothes await him neatly folded on the chair in front of him.

Special attention deserves the quick and precise brushstrokes of the bathtub, in which the artist has represented with great technical quality the drops of water that still remain in the tub.

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