Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)
Oil on canvas; 15 x 18 1/8 in. (38.1 x 46 cm)
Bequest of Joan Whitney Payson, 1975 (1976.201.12)
Cézanne admired classical and Renaissance treatments of the nude and sought to continue that tradition. However, since he worked slowly and was uncomfortable with female models, he concentrated on imaginary scenes in sylvan settings. This work of 1874–75 is one of Cézanne's first paintings of bathers. The assertive parallel, diagonal brushstrokes, typical of the artist's work in the mid-1870s, were later refined and became a key component of his style. However, he soon abandoned the bright, high-keyed palette.