Skip to main content
Moonlight: The Bathers
Imitator of Théodore Rousseau

Two naked children appear to be bathing in a pool beneath a dark tree set against a cloudy, moonlit sky. A third child, who is clothed, sits on the bank near a patch of red that may be a fire.

It is likely that this picture was painted by a late nineteenth-century imitator of Theodore Rousseau and not by Rousseau himself. Some features of the painting – for example, the multi-directional brushwork of the sky and the delicate brushwork of the trees in background on the left – do recall landscapes painted by Rousseau. However, his landscapes are usually deserted. When he does include people, they never have the prominence of the three bathers we see here.

Unlike the lively confident brushwork of the background, the children themselves are crudely painted, and lines and dabs of thick dark paint have been used to add detail to their faces and clothing.

Key facts
Artist Imitator of Théodore Rousseau
Artist dates 1812 - 1867
Full title Moonlight: The Bathers
Date made possibly 1860s-1880s
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 52.1 x 67.3 cm
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917
Inventory number NG3269
Location in Gallery Not on display
On loan to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo