The bathroom is one of those places to which we retreat for privacy. Although this is so for obvious reasons, the bathroom is also a place for pampering oneself, for being alone with time to think, for relaxing after a long day of too much stress, too much noise, too many demands.
The artwork, After the Bath, invites the viewer to step into this place of sanctuary and focus on the small, simple elements of life. A young woman, clad in a towel, has emerged from a steaming hot bath – and a cast iron claw foot bathtub is the best place to take such a bath, because the metal keeps the water warm. One can soak for hours in such a tub, with or without a good book.
Seated on a low stool, the woman reaches over to a table stand to find a hairpin for her hair, which she holds high over her neck with the other hand. She is concentrated, thoughtful, tranquil – her thoughts focused only on the after bath ritual, the slow activity that, in the modern mindset, doesn’t accomplish anything, but in the mindset of reality, accomplishes much indeed.
This is a time for winding down, relaxing, and thinking gentle thoughts. And those gentle thoughts have nothing to do with next day’s projects at the office, or all the phone calls that must be made. Those gentle thoughts follow along the line of finding the hairpin, running a brush through her hair, sitting quietly on the stool and breathing in the moist air.
This is a time for daydreaming, for imagining how things could or should be, for reflecting on a special time with a special person that one has recently had, and hopes to have soon again. In this quiet time and space, one pampers oneself, rejuvenating the soul.
(An alternative image to After the Bath is After the Bath Grayscale, which is this same image, but in strong black and white, as opposed to the beige background of this piece. Companion pieces to After the Bath are Bathed in Light, Introspection, Expression, and Before the Bath, also on this site.)
Featured in 27 Fine Art America groups.
August 8th, 2018
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