Breton Bathers

Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) 
Breton Bathers, from the Volpini Suite, 1889
Zincograph on yellow wove paper
Sheet: 17 1/4 x 21 9/16 in. (43.8 x 54.7 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.59

Gauguin’s emphasis on sinuous outline, along with the flattened space and upturned perspective, reveals his interest in Japanese prints. The image was drawn on a grained zinc plate with both crayon and tusche (a greasy liquid used in lithography) applied with a brush. This method of printmaking yields fine gradations from light to dark, as is evident here.