The Bather

The Bather, c.1930
Thomas Ronaldson (1881-1942)
Oil on Canvas
BORGM 01890
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Morning Room 

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The Bather

This delightful study of a young woman looking out to sea fits the location of the Russell-Cotes perfectly. It is a world away from 19th century paintings of the nude, which tried to thinly disguise the subject under the pretext of a classical or mythological subject.

Our subject here (the name of the model is not known) has the chic bobbed hair of the late 1920s / early 1930s period, and the artist’s concentration on the girl’s athletic form illustrates that era’s concern with cult of the body beautiful. The title of the work “The Bather” invites you to admire the sitter’s fine physique.

Thomas Ronaldson studied in Edinburgh and Paris.