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Paintings Worth Millions on Display at ISHOF


Fort Lauderdale - Paintings worth millions of dollars are now on display at ISHOF. Of course the originals are safe and sound in the world’s great museums. What we have are museum quality replicas hand painted at the direction of one our members, who has loaned them to ISHOF for the benefit of the swimming community. Among the artists represented are 19th and 20th century masters Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin and George Catlin.

“These paintings are a great addition to our museum,” said Bob Duenkel, ISHOF’s Executive Director and Curator. “They are all historically significant and show another side of swimming as a recreational activity for everyone.”
The paintings will be on display in the main exhibition hall of the museum for an indefinite period of time.

The paintings in this exhibit are:

Bathers at Asnières (French: Une Baignade, Asnières) is an oil on canvas painting by the French artist Georges-Pierre Seurat (1859 – 1891), one of the icons of 19th century painting, and is considered the first of his two masterpieces. Painted in 1883-4, the scene depicts the north bank of the River Seine opposite the island of la Grande Jatte. The Asnières railway bridge, and the industrial buildings of Clichy are in the background. Trees from the tip of the island of la Grande Jatte are to the right. This bathing area, or “Baignade,” was the approximate location of the swimming events in the 1900 Olympic Games. Bathers at Asnières hangs today in the National Gallery, London, and that institution holds that the Bathers is one of the highlights of its entire collection of paintings.

Bather With Outstretched Arms is an oil on canvas painted by Paul Cézanne (1839 – 1906), an artist formed the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne "is the father of us all" cannot be easily dismissed. In his Bather with Outstretched Arms (1877-78), Cézanne poses an isolated male figure in a bathing suit with his arms placed in peculiar positions as he stands on the edge of a river bank: his right hand is stretched upwards and behind him while his left hand is clenched in a forward position. Most art critics agree that the main theme of this painting is the individual’s yearning for liberation. It has been further postulated that perhaps this image may even be a projection by Cézanne, reflecting his own isolated state

The Bathers is an oil on canvas painting by Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973), a Spanish painter and one of the most recognized figures in 20th Century Art. From 1918, when Picasso painted The Bathers, he spent almost all his summers by the sea. The sinuous female bodies possess a grace rare in Picasso and marks the first move towards expressionism through elongation which evokes both Ingres and El Greco and suggests a conflict between their styles. The original hangs in the Musee Picasso in Barcelona.

Women Bathers, Dieppe is an oil on canvas painting by Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903), a post-impressionist French painter, in 1885. The painting depicts a calm beach with people swimming and boats in the water at Dieppe, a popular seaside resort on the coast of Normandy. The original hangs in the Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Mandan Village on the Missouri River, oil on canvas, painted by George Catlin (1796-1872) in 1833. During Catlin’s travels through Indian territory (1830 – 1838), Catlin observed that “the art of swimming was “known to all the American Indians; and perhaps no people on earth have taken more pains to learn it. There certainly are no people whose avocations of life more often call for the use of their limbs in this way; as many of the tribes spend their lives on the shores of our vast lakes and rivers, paddling about from their childhood in their fragile bark canoes, which are liable to continual accidents, which often throw the Indian upon his natural resources for the preservation of life.” In this painting, the over-arm technique observed by Catlin can be seen on the far side of the river. “The Indian, throws his body alternately upon the left and the right side, raising one arm entirely above the water and reaching as far forward as he can, to dip it, whilst his whole weight and force are spent upon the one that is passing under him, and like a paddle propelling him along; whilst this arm is making a half circle, and is being raised out of the water behind him, the opposite arm is describing a similar arch in the air over his head, to be dipped in the water as far as he can reach before him, with the hand turned under, forming a sort of bucket, to act most effectively as it passes in its turn underneath him.

By this bold and powerful mode of swimming, which may want the grace that many would wish to see, that a man will preserve his strength and his breath much longer in this alternate and rolling motion, than he can in the usual mode of swimming, in the polished world." The original painting is housed in the Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C.

Portala Castle Mural, oil on canvas depicting a scene of swimmers on a mural from the Portala Castle in Tibet, circa 800 A.D.

The Pearl Fishery, oil on canvas taken from a 17th century engraving showing enslaved African swimmers gathering pearls of the coast of Venezuela.

About ISHOF: The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to inspire everyone to be a swimmer by promoting the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.

For more information about SPLASH! visit www.ishof.org or call 954-462-6536


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