Cézanne's Large Bathers

Cézanne's Large Bathers
Cézanne's Large Bathers

Paul Cézanne in his last thirty years he made countless works inspired by this theme of bathers. A theme that he used to continue in a deep study of what painting is and also to discover the mysteries of nature.

Painting these pictures is how he really got his craft. Something that absorbed him completely. His obsession with his work and with his pictorial investigations were eternal, and we can even say that they were self-destructive. With each work he seems to question the previous one, which evidently caused the author serious problems of conviction in his work. Something that he understands much better in his series of bathers, a production in which this painting of The Great Bathers stands out for its value and vigor, which culminated in the same year of his death, in 1906 and is currently exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the United States.


Cézanne's Great Bathers

This painting and others on the same theme are set in Cézanne's hometown, in Aix en Provence, and more specifically on the banks of the Arc River. A scene almost typical of Impressionism, since there is also that game of capturing the effects of light, the reflections in the water and the clearings and shadows among the vegetation.

ButCézanneis worried about other things in his painting. He is looking for a monumental image, and not only because of the size of the canvas(208 x 252 cm). He presents us with a set of monumental nude bodies that he places in a kind of natural temple, since the trunks on the riverbank undoubtedly form a protective vault.

An almost classic composition, since it is based on a pyramid formed by the diagonals made by the trunks of the trees, while the horizontal line parallel to the base of the image is formed by the water of the river and the ground sand. All this recreates an architectural triangle that houses the naked women inside, each one in a different pose, without fanfare and adapted to the calm of the scene.

The painter plays with what he really saw and what he imagines, to finally recreate a different, new scene. Both in the nature of trees and in the nature of bodies there is something of abstraction. A sensation that is also helped by the choice of color, applied with juxtaposed flat brushstrokes, pitting the warm tones of the bodies or trunks against the cold tones of the sky and foliage. That is, playing with pink, ocher and brown tones against blue and green.

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