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Paul Cézanne
Bathers. 1890-1894

In the first half of the 1890s Cézanne had the idea of producing a monumental canvas with nudes in a landscape, a kind of synthetic image of the universe. In the series of works to which the Moscow picture belongs the artist was striving to achieve harmony between the representation of the nude figures and the landscape: the bodies, trees, and outlines of the mountains in the distance form a single stable frame, a support for the universe. The torsos of the bathers are elongated and crisscrossed with flexible, broken lines which enable the figures to melt into the surrounding landscape. At the same time this canvas already indicates the structuralising ''architectural" functions of natural motifs, found final embodiment in his celebrated Large Bathers (1905-1906) from the Barnes Foundation collection in Merion, Pennsylvania.

Paul Cézanne