The Painting by Benoit “The Bathhouse of the Marquis”

The Painting by Benoit “The Bathhouse of the Marquis”

The picture shows a girl in a bath in the middle of the garden. The action takes place on a sunny day, as the arbor with the statue of Cupid in the background is illuminated by the rays of the sun. The bathhouse itself is hidden from prying eyes by a high hedge and lush tree crowns, creating a coveted shadow on a hot, sunny day. Thus, the green color of the picture acquires warm colors.

The young marquis escapes from the summer heat, hiding under a canopy of trees in a secluded bathhouse, located in the depths of the park. She left the clothes not far from her: she casually threw on the bench, all the way up to the hat.

The girl is almost completely immersed in water, on the surface we see only her thin neck, adorned with a black velvet, and a miniature head, her hair is stitched

in a hairstyle with fresh flowers. The expression on her face is pensive and mischievous, as if she has conceived some kind of prank.

The girl is depicted in an artificial and natural environment, she is not just in a small forest pond, but in the park at the estate, even hedges and a gazebo with a sculpture in the background and marble decoration of the bathing itself speak about it. Water in it comes from three different “sources” in the form of faces of mythological characters.

Because of one of the “live” obstacles, a curious black servant peeps out in an interesting headdress, he adds dynamism to the balanced composition of this work, because if the marquis turns in his direction, he immediately hides behind bushes.

The greens are depicted here with a certain conventionality: the foliage and the grass are painted in large strokes, white spots, around the bathing allusion to certain flowers adorning the pool, because we can not see the whole bathing area and it seems that it is framed in marble only on one side, and the other three are decorative vegetative shores with some vegetation.

Reflection in the water of the girl herself also has a greater conventionality, the water, dark from the tree crowns reflected in it, looks impenetrable black, hiding the presence or absence of

some garments on the marquise itself.

The artist chose an interesting position for the perception of this work. The Marquise, immersed in meditation, we see from the top down, but it is worthwhile to look up as we notice the servant hiding from the mistress, stare at the bench with the girl’s things and finally see the arbor, in the rays of the scorching sun. Due to the cut-off ratio, the spectator is not only given the bliss of the summer coolness, but also the volume of objects, as well as the volume is emphasized by the color saturation.

The picture itself is “washed out” before our eyes, our view passes from one object of the work to another, as the contours are soft, they can not be called sharp, but clear contours are present at the arbor, bench and the frame of the bath, without them our eyes slid would be on the picture, not finding something to catch on.


The Painting by Benoit “The Bathhouse of the Marquis”