Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 151

PAUL F I SCHER
   ‒    
  .
Woman in Bathing Suit, sketch
, after

(En badepige, skitse)
Oil on canvas,
¾
x
in (

x

cm)
Signed bottom left: Paul Fischer
       :
Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill.
A
s a preparatory work for larger paintings, Fischer photographed his models and then often painted a
study such as the present one.
At the end of the

th century, medical science discovered the bene
fi
cial e
ff
ect on health of the sun,
fresh air and sea water, and the middle classes now
fl
ocked to the countryside in the summer. Concepts such
as holiday and open-air life emerged and gave rise to new motifs. Although the strict rules of the day for
social behaviour, dress and etiquette could be relaxed out in the country during the summer, morals
required bathing costumes that were decorous in the extreme when seen with present-day eyes, and in
many places men and women swam separately. Nevertheless, it was to a great extent due to sports and out-
door life that views on morals changed fairly rapidly after

and made it possible for Fischer to paint and
enjoy success with pictures of girls both without and, as here, with bathing suits.
The art historian Erik Mortensen has pointed out the connection between this type of picture and the
philosophical movement known as vitalism, the best known representatives of which in Denmark are the
painter and sculptor J.F. Willumsen (


), the sculptor Kai Nielsen (


) and the author and
Nobel Laureat Johannes V. Jensen (


).
E.F.
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
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