Paul Cezanne


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Author: Paul Cezanne
Painting, Oil on canvas, 54.2x66.5 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1890/1891

Cezanne's Bathers continued the venerable tradition of European art, but at the same time they were an open challenge to the academic nudes of the Salon. Bathers does embody the idea of a lost age of innocence - not the saccharine prehistoric and ancient eras lauded in the Salon huge canvases, but his own time, his own youth. He was inspired by memories of how, with his school friends, he went to the countryside, where the chief delight was swimming in the Arc River. Because Cezanne strove to express his sensations, refusing to follow conventional formulas, his painting became "awkward", like the painting of "primitives". Cezanne did not completely share the views of the Impressionist painters, and in compositions that were entirely invented he departed from them a great deal, though still valuing their advances in the area of colour. With the Bathers, Cezanne's philosophy of art sought something like the opposite of the fleeting moments of Impressionism. Like a good builder, he was concerned with firmness of construction. His paintings, including the present one, are solid pyramidal structures expressing an idea of firmness without which the dynamic world cannot survive.

Style: Post-Impressionism
Source of entry: formerly in the collection of Otto Krebs, Holzdorf
Exibition: French Painting: 19th - 20th centuries
Transferred from Germany after World War II

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