Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973): The Bathers, 1918, Oil on1/28/2021, 9:03:01 AM
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973): The Bathers, 1918, Oil on canvas, 21.7 x 26.3 cm, Musée Picasso, Paris Starting from 1918, Picasso spent all his summers at the beach, first at Biarritz, then on the Cote d'Azur or in Dinard. These journeys inspired him to create a series of works on the theme of bathers. 'The Bathers' was created in 1918 at Biarritz and the first one of the series. It shows three woman sunbathing on the beach. It has been a long tradition in art history for artists to depict the female nudity with the sea scene, extending from The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli to The Large Bathers of Paul Cezanne. This one, though, gives an idea of the healthy, active life of vacationers on sunny beaches, free of cumbersome clothing and cares. This canvas, which Picasso kept for his own reference, possesses an unique place in his work: the detailed realism, the simple and direct handling, the sincere beauty of the lean and flexible bodies are uncommon attributes- Picasso generally depicts all the more liberally supplied female life structures. The human form is playfully distorted but this doesn't have the solemn austerity of Cubism; rather the innocent freshness of a seaside poster. In 1918, swimming in the sea was uncommon, and sunbathing unheard of. It was only after World War I that they came into fashion. So in that sense it is radical and the physical freedom of these girls was also new. The straightforwardness of the light in any case, these dull cutting edge Venuses in their sticking bathing suits, the biomorphic types of the rocks and stones, the stillness of the ocean, the solidified motions of the bathers, and the overjoyed disposition of the standing lady with her tentacular hair deliver a general impression of peculiarity and a surrealistic atmosphere.