28 September 2010
Morgan Russell (1886-1953)
signed 'Morgan Russell' (upper right)
oil on canvas laid down on panel
31½ x 16¾ in. (80 x 42.5 cm.)
Painted in 1917.
Mrs. Rose Fried, New York.
Estate of the above.
Mrs. Mildred Clarke, acquired from the above.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
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M.S. Kushner, Morgan Russell, New York, 1990, pp. 122-23, pl. 100, illustrated.
Wilmington, North Carolina, St. John's Museum of Art, Recent Loans and Permanent Collection, February 1979.
According to Marilyn S. Kushner, "Bathers was painted in 1917. It is most likely painted from a series of nudes that Russell told Mrs. [Gertrude Vanderbilt] Whitney he was working on at the time and which Louis Vauxcelles mentioned in a review of June 1917. While Russell's reliance on past masters is still evident (the nude male in the left background resembles a contorted Michelangelesque figure), he had developed a very personal figural style. This style was not based on the perfect Renaissance ideal of human proportion but rather on a more primitive or archaic concept of form. Russell remarked that he did not like the High Renaissance period of Michelangelo's paintings but preferred the later, more expressive and less balanced work..." (Morgan Russell, New York, 1990, pp. 122-23)
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