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William Bailey, whose pristine, idealized still lifes and female nudes made him one of the leading figures in the return of figurative art in the 1980s, died on April 13 at his home in Branford, Conn. He was 89.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Alix Bailey.

Beyond his painting, Mr. Bailey influenced generations of students in his many years as a teacher at the Yale School of Art.

In some of his best-known work, Mr. Bailey arranged simple objects — the eggs, bowls, bottles and vases that he once called “my repertory company” — along a severe horizontal shelf, or on a plain table, swathing them in a breathless, deceptively serene atmosphere heavy with mystery.