Paul Cezanne (French, 1839-1906). Hand-colored lithograph on MBM laid paper with watermark titled "Les Grands Baigneurs (The Large Bathers)," ca. 1898, depicting a group of four male nude bathers lounging in an idyllic, lush landscape. This is a copy of Cezanne's earlier composition in "Bathers at Rest," ca. 1876-7. Signed along the lower right in plate. This is the third state of this print, with color and without the inscription along the lower right margin.
Paul Cezanne was a French Post-Impressionist painter known as the artist to bridge the gap between Impressionism and Cubism, the 19th century and 20th century understanding of artistic vision. He used planes of color and repetitive brush strokes in his compositions, and believed in capturing the truth of perception by simplifying all forms to their essential geometric shapes. Cezanne wanted to Ã¬treat nature in terms of the cylinder, the sphere and the cone.Ã® These ideas of optical phenomena were seen as too progressive and his works were continuously rejected at the Paris Salon until his final submission in 1882. In 1895, Cezanne had his first solo exhibition due to the patronage of Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard. It was this relationship that led to the production of one of CezanneÃs few lithographs, Ã¬The Large Bathers.Ã®
Vollard asked a number of artists who typically did not produce engravings to create them for a publication of prints titled Ã¬Les Peintres-Graveurs and La DeuxiÃ‹me AnnÃˆe de l'Album d'Estampes originales de la Galerie Vollard.Ã® The first album was published in 1896 and contained works by Bonnard, Denis, Fantin-Latour, Renoir, and Vuillard among others. In 1897, the second album was published and contained a lithograph by Cezanne, a small composition of bathers. It was in anticipation of the third album that Cezanne created two other lithographs - Ã¬The Large BathersÃ® and a self-portrait. However, due to the monetary unsuccess of the first two albums, the third was never released.
Cezanne, unfamiliar with the print-making process, relied heavily on the expertise of printer Auguste Clot. Ã¬The Large BathersÃ® was made in three states, the first being a lithograph made in black to serve as keystone. In the second, he hand-coloured an impression in watercolor for the printer to follow in preparing the color stones. This second state, according to Druick, also includes an inscription along the lower right margin that reads: Ã¬Tirage â€¡ cent exemplaires no. (1-100) P. CÃˆzanne.Ã® The third state, which is that of this lot, is without the inscription and a variation of colored stones. As Druick believes, the first colored state consisted of six colored stones - ochre, blue, orange, green, yellow, red - whereas the second was printed from only five and excluded the orange. These last two colored editions seem to have 100 impressions each.
Literature: Ambroise Vollard, Recollections of a Picture Dealer (London 1936), pp.247-8; Lionello Venturi, CÃˆzanne: son Art - son Oeuvre (Paris 1936), No.1157, Vol.1, p.287, Alphonse Kann maquette repr. Vol.2, pl.332; Una E. Johnson, Ambroise Vollard, Editeur, 1867-1939 (New York 1944), No.30, pp.15, 68-9, 193; Melvin Waldfogel, 'Caillebotte, Vollard and CÃˆzanne's "Baigneurs au Repos"' in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, February 1965, pp.113-20, repr. p.114; Jean Cherpin, 'L'Oeuvre gravÃˆ de CÃˆzanne' in Arts et Livres de Provence: Bulletin No.82, 1972, No.7, pp.47-58, 68-9, first state repr. p.53; Douglas W. Druick, 'CÃˆzanne, Vollard and Lithography: the Ottawa Maquette for the "Large Bathers" Colour Lithograph' in The National Gallery of Canada Bulletin, 19/1972, 1974, pp.1-36, repr. p.8; Douglas Druick, 'CÃˆzanne's Lithographs' in William Rubin (ed.), CÃˆzanne: the Late Work (London 1978), pp.119-37, first state repr. p.125.
Sight; height: 17 in x width: 20 1/2 in. Framed; height: 26 1/2 in x width: 30 1/2 in.
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