Pierre-Paul Girieud - Les Baigneuses / Petit Lesbos, 1910
Oil on canvas
76 x 97 cm
A total of 11 nude female characters rest close together in different positions on a sandy strip of coast beneath the calm sea. On a passing sailing boat there is another woman, standing with her arms outstretched. Girieud paints Les Baigneuses in a simplified language of forms, a palette of earthy tones and dark outlines, offering a melancholic and lethargic feeling rather than the cheerful bathing which the title might suggest. Girieud's exploration of mythological scenes as well as the alternative title of this work “Petit Lesbos” suggest that the artist portrayed the numerous daughters of the first mythological king of Lesbos in their courtly idleness.
In the same year of the creation of this painting, Girieud was asked to join the Neue Künstlervereinigung München by Erbslöh, Jawlensky and Kandinsky among others and exhibited at their second exhibition along his French colleagues - Braque, Derain, van Dongen, de Vlaminck, Picasso and Rouault.