Moorish Bath

Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824–1904)


Overall: 50.8 x 40.6cm (20 x 16in.) Other (Framed): 82.6 x 14 x 73cm (32 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 28 3/4in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)





Among the most commercially successful artists of the nineteenth century, Gérôme built his reputation as an Orientalist, painting scenes of an imaginary place that combined characteristics of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean with his own fantasies and inventions. Here Gérôme afforded his viewer a glimpse into the private world of a woman’s bath, a scene he surely never witnessed. The pale, red-headed nude—perhaps meant to suggest a Circassian slave from the far reaches of the Ottoman Empire—forms a striking contrast to her African attendant in the sun-dappled interior of an Islamic bathhouse.


Upper right, on top of bench: J.L. GEROME


1870, gift of the artist to H. J. Turner; April 4, 1903, sold by Turner at Christie's, London, lot 138, and bought by Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, Paris, and New York [see note 1]; 1903, sold by Tooth and Sons to J. D. Milburn, Esquire [see note 2]. Eben D. Jordan, Boston, MA; by 1924, by descent to Robert Jordan, Boston, MA; 1924, gift of Robert Jordan to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 17, 1924) NOTES: [1] presumably this is Tooth London trans. no. 2936, Gérôme, "Bain Mauve," 20 x 16 [2] the name in the stock inventory for 1903 is illegible, name cited in Picture Sales Vol. II, p. 37

Credit Line

Gift of Robert Jordan from the collection of Eben D. Jordan