MALLET, Jean-Baptiste
(b. 1759, Grasse, d. 1835, Paris)

Gothic Bathroom

Oil on canvas, 41 x 33 cm
Château-Musée, Dieppe

In the napoleonic period it was permissible to cast a vaguely churchy air over such a blatantly erotic scene as the Gothic Bathroom by Jean-Baptiste Mallet, shown at the Salon of 1810, whose curvaceous occupant disrobes before a font-like washstand by the light of a stained-glass window set with scenes of love.

The blasphemous comedy of this picture is sufficient warning to take Napoleonic religion with a pinch of salt.