About This Artwork

Paul Cézanne
French, 1839-1906

The Bathers, 1899/1904

Oil on canvas
20 3/16 x 24 1/4 in. (51.3 x 61.7 cm)

Amy McCormick Memorial Collection, 1942.457

Through his studies of groups of bathers outdoors, Paul Cézanne reconceived a classical subject in a modern, pictorial idiom. Though clearly related, The Bathers is not a study for either of the monumental canvases of bather subjects that the artist left unfinished at his death; rather, it is an independent, exploratory work painted with a more spritely touch. For all its compositional complexity, it retains the lightness of a watercolor, with thin parallel strokes and dashes and areas of white-primed canvas showing through the paint.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co. at Wildenstein Galleries, Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Paul Cezanne 1839-1906, January 1928, cat. 8.

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Summer Exhibition: Retrospective, June-September 1930, cat. 15.

Chicago, Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago, Exhibition of Modern French Paintings, January 22-February 2, 1929, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1933, cat. 306.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1934, cat. 291.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpiece of the Month, December 1943, no cat.

Cincinnati Art Museum, Paintings by Paul Cézanne, February 5-March 9, 1947, cat. 12 (ill.).

Oberlin College, Exhibition, May 1950, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago and New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cézanne, Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings: A Loan Exhibition, April 4-May 18, 1952, cat. 98 (ill.).

Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, An Exhibition of Paintings by Cézanne, August 20-September 18, 1954, cat. 60 (ill.), traveled to London, Tate Gallery, September 29-October 27, 1954.

Cleveland Museum of Art, Venetian Tradition, November, 1956-January, 1957, no cat.

San Francisco Museum of Art, Man: Glory, Jest and Riddle: A Survey of the Human Form through the ages, November 10, 1964-January 3, 1965, cat. 238 (ill.).

Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection, Cézanne Exhibition to Honor the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Phillips Collection, February 27-March 28, 1971, cat. 29 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, April 17-May 16, 1971 and Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, June 1-30, 1971.

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Cézanne: The Late Work, October 7, 1977-January 3, 1978, cat. 38, traveled to Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, January 25-March 21, 1977 and Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, April 20-July 23, 1978.

Liège, Musée Saint Georges, Cézanne, March 12-May 9, 1982, cat. 28 (ill.), traveled to Aix-en-Provance, Musée Granet, June 12-August 31, 1982.

Tokyo, Seibu Museum of Art, The Impressionist Tradition: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago, October 18-December 17, 1985 cat. 52 (ill.), traveled to Fukuoka Art Museum, January 5-February 2, 1986 and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, March 4-April 13, 1986.

Kunstmuseum Basel, Paul Cézanne: The Bathers, September 10-December 10, 1989, cat. 68, fig. 193.

Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Cézanne, September 25, 1995-January 7, 1996, cat. 220 (ill); traveled to London, Tate Gallery, February 8-April 28, 1996 and Philadelphia Museum of Art, May 26-August 18, 1996.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 68 (ill.).

Publication History

Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, son art, son oeuvre (Paris, 1936), vol. 1, p. 192, no. 722, vol. 2, pl. 238.

Clarence Bulliet, Apples and Madonnas (New York, 1930), p. 49.

The Studio 106 (October 1933), p. 200.

D. Odenheimer, “Mrs. Robert R. McCormick, Painter and Collector,” The Art Institute Bulletin 34 (April-May, 1940), p. 60 (ill.).

“McCormick Art Given to Chicago,” Art Digest (December 15, 1942), p. 19.

Edgar Allan Jewell, Paul Cézanne (New York ,1944) , p. 34 (ill.).

Liliane Brion-Guerry, Cézanne et l’expression de l’espace (Paris, 1950), fig. 28.

James Speyer, “Twentieth-Century European Painting and Sculpture,” Apollo 84 (September 1966), p. 222.

The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly no. 1 (February 1952), pp. 2-8.

Gertrude Berthold, Cezanne und die alten Meister (Stuttgart, 1958), p. 43, fig. 58.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), pp. 73, 326 (ill.).

Fritz Novotny, Paul Cezanne, 1839-1906 (London, 1961), p. 41.

Liliane Brion-Guerry, Cézanne et l’expression de l’espace (Paris, 1966), p. 193.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (New York, 1970), pp. 105-104 (ill).

Kurt Badt, Das Spätwerk Cézannes (Konstanz, 1971), p. 21 (ill.).

S. Geist in Art International (November 20, 1975), p. 12 (ill.).

Theodore Reff, “Cézanne’s Late Bather Paintings,” Arts Magazine (October 1977), p. 118, fig. 9.

R. Kendall, ed., Cézanne by Himself (London, 1988), p. 262 (ill.).

K. Adler in Art in America (April 1990), p. 237 (ill.).

Michael Howard, Cézanne (London, 1990), pp. 152-153 (ill.).

Mary Louise Krumrine, “Cézanne’s ‘Restricted Power’: Further Reflections on the ‘Bathers’,” Burlington Magazine (September 1992), p. 592.

John Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalgoue Raisonné (New York, 1996), vol. 1, p. 512-13, no. 859, vol. 2, p. 301 (ill.).

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 68, pgs. 142, 143 (ill.).

Ownership History

Jacques Zoubaloff (1876-1941), Paris; Sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, June16-17, 1927, lot 113 (ill.). Jos. Hessel, Paris [according to Rewald 1996]. Paul Rosenberg and Co., Paris, 1928 [see New York 1928]. Chester H. Johnson Gallery, Chicago [according to Chicago 1933]. Mrs. Robert R. McCormick (died 1939), Chicago by 1929 [see Chicago1929 exhibition materials, Archives of American Art, copy in curatorial file]; Colonel Robert R. McCormick; given to the Art Institute, 1942.

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