About This Artwork

François Boucher
French, 1703-1770

Bathing Nymph, 1745/50

Oil on canvas
42.6 x 47.1 cm (16 3/4 x 18 1/2 in.)

Wilson L. Mead Fund, 1931.938

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1933, no. 209.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1934, no. 133.

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, A Survey of French Painting, April 2–May 14, 1936, no. 18.

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, French Painting, 1100–1900, October 18–December 2, 1951, no. 87.

Kansas City, Missouri, The Nelson Gallery and Atkins Museum, The Century of Mozart, January 15–March 4, 1956, no. 6.

The Peoria Art Museum, Illinois, The Grand Tour: England, France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, May 15–June 18, 1970, no. 1, as Jean Honoré Fragonard.

Art Institute of Chicago, Selected Works of 18th Century French Art in the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, January 24–April 25, 1976, no. 8.

Publication History

“Report for the Year 1931” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 26, 2 (1932), p. 21, 37, ill.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1932), p. 143.

“Louis XV’s Age Lives in Chicago’s Boucher,” Art Digest 6, 12 (1932), p. 4, ill.

“Museum Accessions,” American Magazine of Art 24 (1932), p. 297, ill.

Daniel Catton Rich, “A ‘Bathing Nymph’ by Boucher,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 26, 3 (1932), pp. 26–27, cover ill.

“The Rearrangement of the Painting Galleries,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 27, 7 (1933), p. 114.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1935), p. 26.

Guillaume Lerolle, “A Review of French Painting,” Carnegie Magazine 10, 1 (1936), p. 6.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1941), p. 32.

Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1945), p. 34.

Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1948), p. 32.

Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, [1956]), p. 32.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), p. 29.

Alexandre Ananoff with Daniel Wildenstein, François Boucher, vol. 1 (Lausanne and Paris, 1976), pp. 330 under no. 215, 413 under no. 304.

Christopher Wright, The World’s Master Paintings: From the Early Renaissance to the Present Day (London and New York, 1992), vol. 1, p. 433; vol. 2, pp. 587.

Susan Wise in Susan Wise and Malcolm Warner, French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800 in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1996), pp. 8–11, ill.

Elisabeth West FitzHugh, “Orpiment and Realgar,” in Elisabeth West FitzHugh, ed., Artists’ Pigments: A Handbook of Their History and Characteristics, vol. 3 (Washington D.C., 1997), p. 70.

Ownership History

Possibly sold Chariot and Paillet, Hôtel d’Aligre (Baché, Brilliant, de Cossé, Quené, et al.), Paris, April 22 and following, 1776, no. 77, for 362 livres [the picture is described as “Une Baigneuse. Elle est assise près d’un gros arbre. Le fond est un joli paysage, d’un touché légere & de gout. Ce tableau, d’un ton ferme & argentin, peut être distingué dans les meilleurs de ce Maître: il est très-agréable.”; price according to a letter from Alastair Laing to Susan Wise, dated April 19, [1985]]. Possibly Louis François I de Bourbon, prince de Conti (died 1776), Paris; sold Pierre Remy, Paris, April 8 and following, 1777, no. 722, to Quenet for 330 livres [the picture is described as “Une femme assise qui se lave les jambs dans un pièce d’eau; du paysage fait le fond de ce tableau qui est vaporeux: il est peint sur toile de forme ovale; hauteur 19 pouces, largeur 18 pouces.”; price and buyer according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie, Paris]. Private collection, England [according to a telegram from Karl Lilienfeld, Van Diemen Galleries, New York, to Robert Harshe dated December 28, 1931, Archives, Art Institute]. Van Diemen and Co. and Dr. Benedict and Co., Berlin, by 1931 [date according to the letter cited above; a letter from René Gimpel to Van Diemen and Co. and Dr. Benedict and Co., dated February 1, 1932, Archives, Art Institute, indicates that they had shown it to Gimpel in Berlin]; sold to the Art Institute through Van Diemen Galleries, New York, 1931.




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