The Bathers, 1907
George Rouault (French, 1871–1958)
Oil on paper, adhered to canvas
Museum purchase, Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler Fund 1966.27
It appears that these ladies (and the beach on which they bathe) are coated in a discolored, heavy grime layer. Thick layers of old varnish covering the surface of the painting will need to be thinned, if not entirely removed. Rouault’s painting is an important one that needs to be installed in the permanent collection galleries. It was finished the same year as Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and captures the hallmarks of early 20th century modernism: subjective color, distorted form, and expressionistic brushwork. The painting also requires a new liner, and a historically-appropriate frame. You can make a difference in the life of this important little artwork.