Bathers at rest

Paul Cezanne • Painting, 1877, 82×100 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Nude
Style of art: Post-Impressionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1877
Size: 82×100 cm
Content 18+
Artwork in selections: 19 selections

Description of the artwork «Bathers at rest»

Cezanne has paintings that have become iconic for several generations of artists. Unrecognized, rejected, deliberately ignored by critics, Cezanne was considered an incomprehensible genius among his: impressionist artists, several collectors and several writers. “Bathers on vacation” is one of those paintings that, for this small group of admirers, were of tremendous value and had supernatural properties.

She appeared for the first time at the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877 - Cezanne then presented a generous selection for the exhibition: 14 paintings and 3 watercolors. After the exhibition closes, the work of Cezanne in Paris will not be possible for a very long time - as much as 12 years. In the meantime, the artist routinely collects outraged reviews of journalists, critics and viewers. Only a few people stand up to defend him - it is in The Bathers that these few defenders see the ancient power, the Michelangelo monumentality of the figures, the incomprehensible harmony of the volumes, the colors characteristic of ancient ceramics. Cezanne's enthusiastic colleagues are surprised at how others do not see the inner strength of the work, as they allow their anatomical inaccuracies to annoy the very meaning of the web. In their opinion, admirers are unanimous, they see the same thing: silent harmony, transforming the divine presence, instead of imperfections - conscious perfection, with which Cezanne corrects the visible.

The third exhibition of the Impressionists was closed - and Cezanne leaves the stage, closes in the studio, works like an obsessive, but first of all seeks peace and quiet in order to disconnect the debaters chorus and find a theoretical background for his views, his way of seeing. And right there, at Cezanne himself and at his painting “Bathers on Rest”, a new fan appears - unexpected and saving. Jean Renoir in a book about his father and his friends tells the story of the first owner of the Bathers. Cezanne got off the train at the Saint-Lazare train station and carried a picture under his arm - a young man saw her, who immediately expressed admiration for the rich colors that the artist used to depict grass and trees. Cezanne, without hesitation, presented the picture to the young man. Soon they will meet again - and will be close friends. The composer, poet and musician Ernest Kabaner became the happy owner of the Bathers. A beggar, emaciated, eccentric - Kabaner was a friend of Rambo and Verlaine, played piano in the taverns and “Bathers” hoisted over his bed. Cezanne valued the thoughts and views of Cabaner, and a few years later took upon himself the care of a terminally ill friend. He persuaded fellow artists to donate several paintings, he added two from himself - and with the money he earned, he provided his first elemental fan with a small pension.

After the death of Cabanera, the Bathers bought Gustave Cybott. And along with other paintings of his famous collection, which Kaibott bequeathed to the state after death, Sezannov's painting finally appeared before two important judges: the director of the School of Fine Arts and the director of the Luxembourg Palace. These two received from the deceased Kaibotta his untimely and provocative gift. No matter how much the Impressionists swayed over the past 20 years, the sturdy carriage of academic art, stubbornly following the beaten track, it only slightly moved from the main course. For the “Bathers” of Cezanne in the walls of the Parisian museums, there was no place yet - the collection of Kaibotta was not fully donated and, of course, without this picture. As a result, it was sold abroad - now the picture is in America.

But the location of the Bathers was not so important to the history of art and to Cézanne himself: the artist will repeat the central figure in several separate canvases, Edgar Degas buy one of these versions for his collection, one of the first purchases of young Pablo Picasso there will be a watercolor-painted author lithograph based on the Bathers. It was no longer possible to stop this movement - Cezanne trampled a new path for contemporary art and walked along it.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova