The Bather

Artist: By or after Jean Antoine Houdon (French, Versailles 1741–1828 Paris)

Date: ca. 1780 or 19th–early 20th century

Culture: French

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: 8 1/8 × 6 1/4 in. (20.6 × 15.9 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 32.100.159


The original composition of Houdon's fountain at the Parc Monceau is believed to be preserved in this patinated terracotta sketch. It fails, however, to capture the striking impact of the lost group in which the lead figure of the black servant stood in vivid contrast to the white marble of the basin and the seated bather herself.