This small bronze sculpture shows a young girl gently washing herself in a shallow basin. Degas started by modelling the figure in dark-red beeswax and used plaster to make the 'water'. He gave her a real sponge to hold and placed her in an actual lead basin. After Degas's death, this small mixed-media model was discovered in his studio and cast in bronze. The Scottish National Gallery's version is one of twenty-two casts that were made. In the later years of his career, Degas repeatedly explored the theme of the female bather. 'The Tub' demands to be viewed from above, an original idea for the time. It was never intended for exhibition, but was a personal exploration of a self-absorbed figure in a private act of mundane intimacy.