%C2%A9 Succession H. Matisse %2F Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C New York

Three Bathers, 1907


Oil on canvasexpand_more

Bequest of Putnam Dana McMillanexpand_more  61.36.14

Not on Viewexpand_more

This painting, like Boy with a Butterfly Net, dates from Matisse’s immediate post-Fauvist period, and is a characteristic example of his painting to its most elemental. Broad blocks of color indicate land, water and sky. The thick contour lines defining the bathers seem pictorial and sculptural at the same time, and indicate Matisse’s struggle to reconcile volume and two-dimensional design through reductive means.

Three Bathers relates to Matisse’s much larger Bathers with a Turtle from 1908, now in the St. Louis Art Museum. These paintings inaugurated a period of artistic experimentation that culminated in Matisse’s monumental painting known as The Dance.

Three Bathers
Artist Life
Accession Number
The artist, Paris (until 1907; sold, December, to Moll); Oskar and Greta Moll, Paris and Breslau, Germany [now Wroclaw, Poland] (1907–'1928); '[Galerie Georges Petite, Paris, from 1928]. [1] L.C. Hodebert, Paris. Georges Bernheim, Paris (by 1931). Léopold Zborowski (1889–1932), Paris (by d. 1932); his wife, Anna Zborowski (1932 –37; consigned to La Galerie Simon, Paris, to Mayor Gallery, London, 1935-36 and to Rains Gallery, New York, 1937) [2]. Dr. Jacques Soubiès, Paris (until 1940; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 13, 1940, no. 62, for Fr 27,000 to Petiet]. Henri Petiet (1894–1980), Paris (from 1940). [Carstairs Gallery, New York, until 1950; 'sold, May 9, to McMillan) [3]; Putnam Dana McMillan, Minneapolis (1950–61, bequeathed to Mia). [1] The Molls acquired the painting directly from Matisse, according to Georges Keller of Carstairs Gallery in a letter of May 12, 1950. Keller also said that he acquired the painting directly from them in 1928 while still at the Galerie Georges Petit. [2] Zbrowski died suddenly of a heart attack and was left poor after losing much of his fortune in the economic crash of 1929. His widow Anna (1885–1978) subsequently sold off his art collection. [3] Lent to MIA by Carstairs on this date, incoming loan number L50.500.
Curator Approved

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