Kazimir Malevich painted a number of bathers from 1910 to 1911. He was influenced by Cézanne and Matisse whose works were concurrently on view in Russia. Cézanne’s paintings of the same subject were brought to the country in 1910 by a Russian art collector. Also Matisse was commissioned for work in Russia and even traveled there in October 1911. In this particular work Cézanne’s influence can be seen in the application of colour while Matisse’s is evident in the figure’s thick and curved outline. Notably, Malevich only includes a man, land and water. The painting lacks any other elements that would locate the figure in terms of time or place. While the gouache appears to have been freely painted, the figure’s structure, proportions and placement were worked out in advance. Preliminary drawings and the remnants of a grid are visible on the surface.
Eigendom erkend door erven Malevich bij overeenkomst uit 2008 / Ownership recognized by agreement with the estate of Kazimir Malevich in 2008