Pantaleon Szyndler
Bathing Girl, [1881–1884]
Purchased in 1891

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 196 × 105 cm

description: A fascination with the exotic character of the Orient, associated with overcoming cultural Eurocentrism and seeking new intellectual and artistic values, which was aroused during the period of Romanticism, lasted in painting for decades, with time turning into the superficial exploitation of the sexual subject matter. The favourite motifs of painters included harem and slave trade scenes imbued with hidden eroticism. Bathing Girl, one of several dozen similar works painted by Szyndler known as Odalisques, Sultanas, Female Slaves or Daughters of Persia, can serve as an example. The painting, regarded as a classic example of Polish academic art, is marked by outstanding technical brilliance. Rendered in dark, golden and brown tonality, it enchants with harmonious modulations of shades and colour values obtained thanks to soft, almost “tender’ brushwork and the glaze application of paints. A silky smooth body of the girl has been contrasted with the texture parts of the work. The artist painted over the original work to remove the figure of a man looking at the naked beauty, depicted in the background. Wacława Milewska

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Around the academy >>>

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