Plate 1

Water nymphs of the Seine, 1847

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The large woman in the foreground floats "faire la planche" (literally "to make like a board"). This skill was taught by swimming teachers in the public bathhouses set up along the Seine in Paris. Daumier's water nymphs are a far cry from the mythological creatures that frolicked near fountains and streams; his figures swim with expressions of intense concentration and spew river water as they paddle about, fully covered by their bathing costumes.

Water nymphs of the Seine
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
L.D. 1629; H-D.656
Curator Approved

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Plate 1