Paul Cézanne
4 000 0006 000 000
Lot. Vendu 5,346,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)


Paul Cézanne
4 000 0006 000 000
Lot. Vendu 5,346,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

New York

Paul Cézanne
1839 - 1906


Estate of the artist

Ambroise Vollard & Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the above)

Auguste Pellerin, Paris (acquired from the above)

Jean-Victor Pellerin, Paris (by descent from the above in 1929 and until at least 1951)

Private Collection


New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Cézanne, 1939

New York, The Musuem of Modern Art, Les Fauves, 1952-53, no. 2

Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Figures nues d’Ecole française depuis les Maîtres de Fontainebleau, 1953, no. 33

Geneva, Musée de l’Anténéé, Exposition ORT, 1960, no. 11

Tokyo, National Museum of Western Art; Kyoto, Municipal Museum; Fukuoka, Cultural Center, Exposition Cézanne, 1974-75, no. 44

Paris, Grand Palais, Cézanne, les dernières années, 1977-78, no. 97, illustrated in color in the catalogue

London, Royal Academy of Arts; Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Post-Impressionism, Cross-Currents in European Painting, 1979-80, no. 46

Tübingen, Kunsthalle, Cézanne Gemälde, 1993, no. 76, illustrated in the catalogue

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Foundaiton Maeght, Le Nu au XXe siècle, 2000, no. 22, illustrated in color the catalogue

Essen, Museum Folkwang, Cézanne Aufbruch in die Modern, 2004-05, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Baltimore, The Baltimore Museum of Art ; San Francisco, Tehe San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ; Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center, Matisse, painter as sculptor, 2007-08, no. 150, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Picasso et les Maîtres, 2008-09, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Moscow, Pushkin Museum, Inspiration Dior, Galerie des nus historiques, 2011, illustrated in color in the catalogue


Wilhelm Hausenstein, Der nackte Mensch in der Kunst, Munich, 1913, fig. 571, illustrated p. 620

Ambroise Vollard, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1914, chapter VI, discussed

Georges Rivière, Le Maître Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1923, listed p. 222

Leo Larguier, Le Dimanche avec Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1925, illustrated p. 80

Roger Fry, “Le développement de Cézanne,” L’Amour de l’Art, Paris, December 1926, illustrated p. 416/

Eugenio d’Ors, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1930, illustrated pl. 6

Roger Fry, Cézanne: A Study of his Development, New York, 1932, fig. 48, illustrated pl. xxxvi

Christian Zervos, “Les Problèmes de la jeune peinture,” Cahiers d’Art, Paris, March-April 1931, illustrated p. 203

Matthias Peschcke-Koedt, “Statusopgorelse I Malerkunste,” Samleren, Copenhagen, 1933, illustrated p. 183

Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, Son Art – Son Oeuvre, Paris, 1936, vol, I, no. 710, illustrated pl. 232 (as dating from circa 1895)

Georgio di San Lazarro, Paul Cézanne,  Paris, 1936, fig. 12, illustrated

Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia, The Art of Cézanne, New York, 1939, no. 145, catalogued p. 417

Gertrude Berthold, Cézanne und die alten Meister, Stuttgart, 1958, illustrated pl. 38

II Disegno francese da Fouquet à Toulouse-Lautrec (exhibition catalogue), Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 1959-60, discussed in relation to no. 87

Melvin Waldfogel, “The Bathers of Paul Cézanne,” (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation Harvard University, Cambridge, MA), 1961, illustrated pl. 167

Jean de Beucken, Cézanne, A Pictorial Biography, London, 1962, illustrated p. 93

Melvin Waldfogel, “A Problem in Cézanne’s Grandes Baigneuses,”The Burlington Magazine, London, May 1962, discussed p. 203, note 7

Vingt ans d’acquisitions au Musée du Louvre (exhibition catalogue), Orangerie dse Tuileries, Paris, 1967-68, discussed p. 176

Alfonso Gatto and Sandra Orienti, L’opera complete di Cézanne, Milan, 1970 no. 628, illustrated p. 114

Marie-Odile Brious, Paul Cézanne, Milan, 1972, illustrated p. 79

Meyer Shapiro, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1973, illustrated p. 60

Cézanne (exhibition catalogue), Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, 1974, discussed in reference to no. 62

Gaëtan Picon and Sandra Orienti, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Cézanne, Paris, 1975, no. 628, illustrated p. 115

Theodore Reff, “Cézanne’s Late Bather Paintings,” Arts Magazine, New York, October 1977, fig. 7, illustrated p. 117

Theodore Reff, “Painting and Theory in the Final Decade,” Cézanne, The Late Work (exhibition catalogue), New York, 1977, illustrated pl. 190

Meyer Schapiro, “The Apples of Cézanne: An Essay on the Meaning of Still-Life,” Modern Art: 19th and 20th Century, New York, 1978, illustrated p. 60

Richard Shone, “Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions: Post-Impressionism,” The Burlington Magazine, London, January 1980, fig. 112, illustrated p. 78

Nello Ponente, Cézanne, Bologna, 1980, discussed in reference to no. 24

L’Aquarelle en France au XIXe siècle: dessins du Musée du Louvre (exhibition catalogue), Musée du Louvre, Paris, discussed p. 21

John Rewald, Paul Cézanne, the Watercolors: A Catalogue Raisonné, Boston, 1983, discussed pp. 179-80

Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Cézanne, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1985, no. 628, illustrated p. 114

Sidney Geist, Interpreting Cézanne, Cambridge and London, 1988, illustrated pl. 98

Gilles Plazy, Cézanne, Paris, 1981, no. 20, illustrated p. 154

Mary Louise Elliot Krumrine, “Cézanne’s Restricted Power’: Further Reflections on the ‘Bathers,” The Burlington Magazine, London, September 1992, discussed p. 594 and note 60

Götz Adriani, Cézanne Paintings, Munich, 1993, no. 628, illustrated p. 114 (as dating from circa 1895)

Pascal Bonafoux, Cézanne portraits, Paris, 1995, illustrated p. 41

Cézanne (exhibition catalogue), Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1995-96, fig. 2, illustrated p. 498

John Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, New York, 1996, no. 897, catalogued pp. 527-28; vol. II, no. 897, illustrated p. 313

Guila Ballas, Cézanne, Baigneuses et Baigneurs, Paris, 2002, no. 86, illustrated p. 285

Pavel Machotka, Cézanne, The eye and the mind, 2008, vol. I, no. 369, illustrated


This monumental picture – perhaps the greatest and the largest nude by Cézanne remaining in private hands – numbers among the artist’s most radical and groundbreaking. Painted in 1898-99, this iconic nude encapsulates the shocking modernity which would inspire younger avant-garde artists such as Picasso and Matisse. Its expressive, angular distortions and dislocations; its monolithic scale, mask-like face and exquisite passage brushwork directly influenced Picasso’s Cubism in the years following Cézanne’s death. “He was my sole and unique master… Cézanne!”, as Picasso would later confide to his friend Brassaï. For Matisse, the vibrant greens and blues Cézanne used to model the flesh here and in the Grandes Baigneuses series pointed the way for Fauvism.

The origins of Femme nue debout can be traced to the mid 1880s, when  Cézanne made a number of important sketches and more fully-worked drawings  based on Michelangelo’s  carved marbles of the Slaves  that  were on view in the Louvre (fig. 6).    His interest in this subject,  and the many varations that he composed over the  successive years,  seems to have culminated with this remarkable oil painting.   “It is possible that the canvas for  Femme nue debout  had been painted from the watercolor of the same subject rather than directly from the model," John Rewald theorized.  "[t]his corresponds to Vollards’s description of a ‘nude study,’ whereas here we have a finished painting, and a very large one at that. Furthermore, this painting has an abstract quality, a desire for synthesis less apparent in the watercolor, where the woman’s belly is more domed and where the breasts are of a more accentuated roundness  even the face in the water-color is more individualized than that in the painting, although they represented the same person” (J. Rewald,  The Paintings of Paul Cézanne, A Catalogue Raisonné,  vol. 1, New York, 1996, p. 527).

Götz Adriani  provides the following description of the figure, whose structure and modeling would launch the proverbial 1000 ships in the 20th century:  “This is the only large-format figure standing female nude in all of Cézanne’s work.   The only painting that might be thought of as a male counterpart to it is the Large Bather (New York, Museum of Modern Art) posed as though walking in front of an open landscape, which was painted after a photograph of a model (fig. 5).   Neither figure appears in any of the compositions of bather.   The cool blue atmosphere of the earlier work are here supplanted by the warm reddish browns of an interior.   The vertical figure occupies the axis of the picture, while the wall behind her, blank except for a picture that is partly visible in the upper right, is structured by horizontals.   Her full-bodied flesh tones are attuned to the darker lower section of the wall.   Her feet, firmly anchored as the supports for a heavy body stretched taut by the raised arms, might have been modeled by Giacometti (fig. 4). Motionless and self-contained, she maintains a post twisted forward from the diagonal, her weight thrown onto her left leg.   Yet, she displays none of the natural ease that characterizes the roughly contemporary female nudes at their toilet paintings by Degas. Cézanne’s figure is far from the classical ideal, but somehow evokes it nonetheless” (Götz Adriani,  Cézanne Gemälde,  Cologne, 1993, p. 226, translated from the German).

Although Cézanne’s treatment of the female form in his Baigneuses series has become iconic in the history of modern art, his depiction of the solitary nude in an interior is, as Adriani indicates, unique. Unlike the depictions of nudes in his  Baigneurs, this painting presents a candid view of an unidentified model posed without fanfare in the artist’s studio. Cézanne gives us no indication of the figure’s  temperament, as her personality or general spirit is of little concern here.  We know that the artist completed this work in his Montmartre studio circa 1898-1899, around the same time that he painted the famous portrait of his dealer, Ambroise Vollard.  There are strong similarities between these two masterpieces, notably in the background.

Cézanne's brilliantly detailed approach to rendering the contour's of his model's body  were an inspiration to generations of artists that followed, and Femme nue debout is in that respect a true manifesto that Picasso or Matisse had the chance to admire at Ambroise Vollard who was their dealer.  The dynamic passages of green- and blue- inflected color that the artist employs to render the nude’s flesh can be seen as a precursor to aspects of Fauve painting six or seven years later, especially in those grand nudes of Matisse, such as Nu bleu: Souvenir de Biskra (fig. 3).  But perhaps Cézanne’s most precocious accomplishment is the angular modeling and stylization of the figure, as this kind of daring treatment would have a profound influence on Picasso when he painted his  Les Demoiselles d’Avignon  in 1906-07 (fig. 1).  In that legendary painting, the standing figure with arms positioned over her head appears to be a direct quotation of Cézanne's Femme nue debout.  The radical exaggeration of limbs, particulary of the legs, also influenced the sculptor Giacometti, who kept a reproduction of this painting among his cahiers.  Perhaps the Swiss artist's disembodied La Jambe provides the most recognizable evocation of Femme nue debout's dramatically attenuated leg, but we can also see its manifestation in his Femmes de Venise of the 1950s, who are rooted solidly to their plinths by similarly sturdy feet.   In the notes compiled by his son, Cézanne's explanation of his artistic approach perfectly describes the results he achieved with the magnificent Femme nue debout: "To paint does not consist in servile copying of an object: It means grasping the harmony between many different relationships and transposing them into their own arrangement, developing them according to a new and original logic."

Kazimir Malevich, recognizing Cézanne as the great master, underlined the importance of distortion in his painting and its critical influence on modern art: "In Cézanne's work as in Impressionism we meet the same question, that of dislocation between form and color in nature and in their pictorial representation. A painting only gives us clues about objects, which are wildly deformed. […] The art of Paul Cézanne marks one of the great realizations in art history, precisely because of its pure expression of the pictorial sensation of the world. In the history of painting, Cézanne represents the apogee of its evolution" (”Forme, couleur et sensation”,  Architecture contemporaine, n°51, Moscow, 1928).



Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

New York