His art is not influenced by trends. He is not impressionistic in his technique and his world is neither realistic nor surrealistic. The theme is dominated by an illusion translated by unexpected shapes and a very wide palette of colors in pastel hues.
Marthe is his main model since 1893. She builds her own universe beside the painter without revealing her real name and age. They do not need social conventions. In 1925 Pierre rightly fears that she becomes jealous and sick. To stabilize their relationship, he marries her.
Around 1910 Pierre photographies Marthe crouching naked on the tub, a sponge in her hand. The leaning head is in the shadow. Washing herself is a good excuse for a painting of the female nude. He begins around 1916 his series of nudes in a tub.
On February 27 in London, Christie's sells a Femme au tub, oil on canvas 130 x 81 cm painted in 1924, lot 17 estimated £ 4M.
Considered as his ultimate achievement in this theme, this painting shows a woman from dreams, standing full front in the basin. By her very long legs, she is Marthe. By her young and sculptural body, she is not Marthe.
She is shown in a fugitive and intimate gesture, like a snapshot created by the artist's imagination. The two blurry hands are lifted as if she were mimicking the use of the sponge. Intimate without being erotic, she is a vision of beauty. The head remained in the shadow.