Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824–1904)
Overall: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.) Other (Framed): 82.6 x 14 x 73 cm (32 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 28 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on canvas
Out on Loan
On display at Musée d'Orsay, Paris, March 25, 2019 – July 14, 2019
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 Henry James Turner (b. 1831 - d. 1924), London; April 4, 1903, Turner sale, Christie's, London, lot 138, sold to Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, Paris, and New York [see note 1]; 1903, sold by Tooth and Sons to Sir John D. Milburn, Esq. (b. 1851 - d. 1907), Northumberland [see note 2]. Eben D. Jordan Jr. (b. 1857 - d. 1916), Boston, MA; by inheritance to his son, Robert Jordan, Boston, MA; 1924, gift of Robert Jordan to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 17, 1924)
 According to handwritten note in sales catalogue the lot, under the name "Bain Maure", was purchased by Tooth. Presumably this is Tooth London trans. no. 2936, Gérôme, "Bain Mauve," 20 x 16.
 The name in the stock inventory for 1903 is illegible, name cited in Picture Sales, Series I, Vol. II, p. 37.
Gift of Robert Jordan from the collection of Eben D. Jordan