Lot 15
  • 15

Paul Cézanne

900,000 - 1,200,000 USD
1,608,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Paul Cézanne
  • Groupe de baigneurs
  • Watercolor and pencil on paper


Ambroise Vollard, Paris

Paul Rosenberg, Paris (probably acquired from the above)

Rosenberg & Helft, London

Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York

Mr. and Mrs. Ruth McC. Maitland, Los Angeles (acquired from the above)

Walter McC. Maitland, Colorado

Rita and Taft Schreiber, Beverly Hills (acquired from the above in 1962)

By descent to the present owner


Los Angeles, University of California, UCLA Art Galleries, The Ruth McC. Maitland Collection, 1959

New York, Knoedler Galleries, Cézanne Watercolors, 1963, no. 49

Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; Chicago, The Art Institute; Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Cézanne:  An Exhibition in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Phillips Collection, 1971, no. 52

Basel, Kunstmuseum, Cézanne die Badenden, 1989, no. 164

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monet to Matisse: A Century of Art In France from Southern California Collections, 1991


Theodore Reff, "Cézanne:  The Logical Mystery," Art News, New York, April 1963, illustrated p. 31

William Rubin, Cézanne: The Late Work (exhibition catalogue), New York, The Museum of Modern Art; Houston, Museum of Fine Arts; Paris, Grand Palais, 1977, illustrated pl. 204

John Rewald, Paul Cézanne. The Watercolours: A Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1983, no. 494, catalogued p. 208; illustrated

Catalogue Note

Among the most technically masterful of all of Cézanne's works are his series of bathers, a subject which occupied him for nearly forty years. The artist was continuously challenged by the formal complexity of positioning figures (sometimes female and sometimes male) within a landscape, and his pictorial endeavors to this end resulted in these compositions of amazing diversity and inventiveness.

The present watercolor dates from the turn of the last century, when Cézanne had fully realized the expressive potential of this motif.  His interest in this subject originated in the early 1870s while he was working in Pontoise with Pissarro, whose influence strengthened his commitment to painting based on observation of the natural world. By the mid-1870s, Cézanne all but eliminated allegorical subjects from his canvases in favor of painting from life, and began executing his first compositions of bathers en plein air.  However, because the expense of models was sometimes beyond his means, Cézanne often resorted to his academic studies, as well as his recollections of images in museums, for ideas on modeling his figures. Rewald is careful to note that Cézanne relied upon these historical images not as models to be copied, but rather as visual references which he could re-interpret and re-figure. Among some of the paintings of bathers that inspired his work were the harem scenes of Delacroix, the naïads of Rubens, and Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe.  Cézanne continued working on his series of Baigneuses up until his death in 1906.  These works exemplified the artist's extraordinary determination as he tested the limits of pictorial space.