Robert COUTURIER (1905 - 2008)
Bather, 1969

Bronze Proof, n°3/6
Lost-wax cast by Emile Godard
Signed: Couturier
H. 55; W. 23; D. 12 cm

France, private collation


Paris, collection of the artist.


-Ionel Jianou, Couturier, Arte, Editions d’Art, Paris, 1969, n°184.
-Valérie da Costa, Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre sculpté de Robert Couturier, thèse de doctorat dirigée par Serge Lemoine, Université de Paris IV – Sorbonne, 1998, n°215.


The theme of women and water recurs frequently in Couturier’s work from 1947 on: The Well, Nereid, Feet in the Water, Woman Diving, and a half a dozen Swimmers. In this 1969 Bather, Couturier takes a different approach, but without belying his reputation—his formal audacity remains energizing and surprising. Its novelty is rooted in the movement of the arms and legs; this is unique in his body of work, and concretizes his vision of a woman at her bath. The pendant to The Bather, a woman lying on her stomach surrounded by an identical mirror of water, is closer to the work he was doing in the Swimmers who part the waves. Couturier’s signature remains recognizable: the great, drawn-out curves, the granulated surface, the featureless face, the spheres in place of breasts, the flat feet. The Bather clearly expresses his principle conceptual preoccupations: the abstraction and geometrization of forms to establish a vivid, light-hearted eloquence.