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Bather drying her right foot
Bronze with brown nuanced patina
Cast Hébrard, bears the stamp « AA Hébrard cire perdue » (lost wax) Plinth in sea green marble
As a child, Aimé-Jules Dalou demonstrated a gift both for modelling and drawing, thereby earning the interest of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. The latter got him into the Petite Ecole, in 1852,
the future Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. Two years later, Dalou was admitted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, where he studied painting in the workshop of Abel de Pujol and sculpture with Francisque Duret. While working for decorative artists, he met Auguste Rodin who became one of his closest friends. At that time, Paris was undergoing major changes and the sculptor built up his experience in this context of industrial revolution, by working on important projects, architectural as well as building decoration.
However, the official institutions considering his art trivial systematically denied him the eligibility to compete for the Prix de Rome. Threatened after the Semaine Sanglante, the artist was forced into exile. In London, he created a series of terracotta statuettes inspired by intimate subjects 'Liseuse', 'Berceuse' and portraits of the English aristocracy. His bathers
echo the creations of Boucher, Clodion or Lemoyne. They all have in common the sensuousness of a naked body, before or after bathing, the curves of the shapes exhibited in an unrestrained pose, as in our sculpture.
A modelling teacher at the National Art Training School, Dalou had a great influence on British sculptors of the next generation. A large retrospective exhibition was held in 2013 in Paris at the Petit Palais where all the original terracotta works of the collection belonging to the State were displayed. The musée d'Orsay, for its part, owns a bronze sculpture similar to ours.
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