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AIME-JULES DALOU (FRENCH, 1838-1902)
AIME-JULES DALOU (FRENCH, 1838-1902)
AIME-JULES DALOU (FRENCH, 1838-1902)
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Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fil… Read more PROPERTY FROM A FRENCH FAMILY COLLECTION (LOTS 354-377)
AIME-JULES DALOU (FRENCH, 1838-1902)

Baigneuse avant le bain (Bather before the bath)

Details
AIME-JULES DALOU (FRENCH, 1838-1902)
Baigneuse avant le bain (Bather before the bath)
signed ‘DALOU' and with foundry cachet 'CIRE / PERDUE / A. A. HEBRARD
bronze, dark brown patina
21 ¾ in. (55.5 cm.) high
Conceived circa 1899.
This bronze circa 1918.
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Lot Essay

Much like his contemporary Edgar Degas, Dalou (d. 1902) was fascinated with the subject of the female nude and worked and re-worked a series of small models depicting women before and after bathing and in stages of undress. Here the bather is preparing to enter the water, shuddering slightly as she smiles down at the stream below.

Dalou first developed the series whilst exiled in London after the Paris commune of 1871. Inspired in part by the unmistakable commercial potential of the female nude, Dalou idealizes the female form but touchingly retains a personal connection: the faces of the sketches are almost always the same, that of his wife and favourite model. Poignantly Baigneuse avant le bain was executed in 1899, a year before Madame Dalou's death, the shock of which Dalou never really recovered, himself dying at the height of his creative powers barely eighteen months later. The original plaster was bought from Dalou's daughter Georgette in 1905, and is preserved in the Musée du Petit-Palais. A marble version is also thought to have been commissioned in 1899.

Dalou discouraged the production of commercial editions and therefore no lifetime bronze casts of this model exist. However following his death the executors permitted the Hébrard foundry to cast certain of Dalou's works in limited editions, usually of ten, but sometimes in greater number. Another cast of this size sold Artcurial, Paris, 18 March 2008, lot 40 (EUR86,744).

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