The Fishermen (Fantastic Scene), ca. 1875
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)
Oil on canvas; 21 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. (55.2 x 81.9 cm)
Gift of Heather Daniels and Katharine Whild, and Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, Gift of Joanne Toor Cummings, by exchange, Wolfe Fund, and Ellen Lichtenstein and Joanne Toor Cummings Bequests, Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard Gift, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rodgers, and Wolfe Fund, by exchange, and funds from various donors, 2001 (2001.473)
This painting was shown at the third Impressionist exhibition, in 1877. It is thought that the man shown from the back in the lower left corner was originally meant to depict an artist, perhaps Cézanne himself. The imagery, a composite of scenes of leisure, derives from paintings by Manet and Monet from the 1860s. Underlying the Impressionist motifs are prototypes found in the work of Giorgione, Titian, and Veronese. Cézanne often included references to Venetian painting when he was working in his pastoral mode—a strain in his art that culminated in the late pictures of bathers.