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Business-men's bath

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1979,0512.4

  • Title (object)

    • Business-men's bath
  • Description

    Group of nude men showering and bathing. 1923 Lithograph, on oriental paper

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1923
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 300 millimetres
    • Width: 432 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed on stone. Signed and titled in pencil. Countersigned by the printer "Bolton Brown - imp" in pencil.
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Stephen Coppel, 'The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock', with the assistance of Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski, BMP, 2008, no. 16.

    When Bellows first arrived in New York in 1904 he stayed at the YMCA, and this print is a recollection of his initial experiences of the city almost twenty earlier. The subject is a humorous reworking in reverse of the composition of an earlier lithograph, The Shower-Bath (Mason 45) of 1917.

    The pose of the young man in the foreground, with hand on hip and one leg raised, is taken from Eakins's painting The Swimming Hole, 1885 (Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth). Unlike Eakins's static treatment, Bellows imbues his figures with a naturalistic dynamism, from the young man poised to dive into the crowded pool to the surfacing figure, bottom right, gasping for breath. In perhaps a comment on his ageing body, Bellows contrasts the younger athletic bodies with the bulkier frame of the older men. The figure of the heavy-set man, foreground left, is posed to ironically evoke the Farnese Hercules (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples), the famous classical image of masculine strength. Through glance and gesture, Bellows sets up a relationship between this figure and the boy whispering to the older man in the background, who both turn towards him.

    This impression is countersigned by Bolton Brown, the highly skilled printer of artistic lithography with whom Bellows collaborated closely from 1919.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Mason 145 bibliographic details
  • Location

    American XXc Mounted Imp

  • Exhibition history

    1980 Jan-May, BM, American Prints 1879-1979, cat. no.58
    1983 May-Jun, Sheffield, City Art Gallery, 'American Prints'
    1983 Jun-Sep, Manchester, Whitworth Gallery, 'American Prints'
    1983 Sep-Dec, Belfast, Ulster Museum, 'American Prints'
    2008 April-Sep, BM, The American Scene, cat. no.16
    2009 Sep-Dec, Manchester, Whitworth AG, The American Scene

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1979

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1979,0512.4


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Object reference number: PPA8023

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