About this artwork
In the 1870s Paul Cezanne took up the subject of bathers, an interest that persisted until the end of his career. The artist did not use live models; his impetus was more conceptual than naturalistic, and he treated the human figure above all as an exercise in formal composition. This drawing derives from a group of studies and paintings that feature a single male bather with one arm rigidly outstretched. While the figure’s unconventional pose defies ready explanation, it was inspired by an ancient Roman sculpture of a dancing satyr in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
Cezanne’s staccato lines, although they appear quick and spontaneous, were in fact applied carefully and methodically as he slowly explored his subject, endowing his bather with a monumentality that belies the drawing’s modest dimensions.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Paul Cézanne
- Bather With Outstretched Arms (recto); Study of a Tree (verso)
- Made 1874–1877
- Graphite on cream laid paper (pieced)
- 179 × 111 mm
- Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray