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About This Artwork
The Women's Bath, c. 1530/40
Woodcut in black, with touches of brush and black ink, on cream laid paper
229 x 229 mm
The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund, 2010.518
Bartsch 167; Hollstein 1223; Pauli 1223
Sebald Beham’s woodcut homage to Albrecht Dürer’s Men’s Bath (2009.133, displayed nearby) intentionally features more figures and far more nudity than the original. Its round shape suggests it was meant to be pasted onto a box. Other impressions of the Women’s Bath include a total of five decorative bands, which the user could cut off to make the design fit its support. This impression has been trimmed to the most central white border, a change that emphasizes the central narrative scene over the broader ornamental framework. The large box it adorned might have contained bathing accessories (combs, sponges, and brushes) like those depicted in this genre scene.
— Exhibition label, Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life, April 30, 2011–July 10, 2011, Galleries 124–127.