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Utorak, 20 Juli 2021 21:04

The Large Bathers by Paul Cézanne is a masterpiece of modern art Istaknut

Three large paintings of bathers in the landscape were the main preoccupation of the French painter Paul Cézanne in the last years of his life. The most famous is the painting The Large Bathers, which he painted for an incredible seven years, and considered unfinished until he died in 1906. The painting is considered a masterpiece of modern art and one of the greatest compositions of all time. It became an inspiration for Cubism and influenced many generations of modern artists. In form and date, The Joy of Life by Henri Matisse is closest to Cézanne's last great image of bathers and the nude figures in the painting were later compared to Pablo Picasso's painting of The Young Ladies of Avignon. The painting The Large Bathers is housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The painting The Large Bathers depicts fourteen naked bathers relaxing by the water under a blue sky on one warm, blissful, sunny day. They are arranged in two triangular-shaped groupings and bordered by trees on either side of them. A cathedral-like arch, created by the trees, forms yet another triangular shape and provides an overall framework for both groups of bathers. The bathers are looking toward the lagoon draw the viewer's attention to the people in the backdrop. In the center, the bather is knelt with their arms leaning toward each other. A swimmer in the water walking away from the water is a figure of a man and a horse. It has been suggested that the man is Paul Cézanne himself. Characters of bathers are expressionless and mimicry. The superficial treatment of anatomy, although characteristic of Cézanne's stylistic development, may be a consequence of his reluctance to paint directly from a living naked model. Cézanne drew upon his imagination and prior studies instead. He told the painter Émile Bernard that he would be embarrassed to use a female model at that age.

A village setting in the background of the painting is probably Aix, in Province. The landscape is simplified, presented in solid geometric shapes, with a strict architectural structure.

Paul Cézanne has used light and dark blues, mixed with gold and bright white colors to create a sunny yet cloudy sky that appears to reach down to the small village. The landscape itself is dominated by blue water and sky in lighter blue tones. Blue lake divides the two shores in ocher tones into both sides. The bathers are illuminated from the right-hand side of the painting, which is obvious from the small amount of light that is hitting the bathers on the right. Each bather's skin color is complimented with a mane of chestnut brown hair and areas that have not been worked on, which signify where the light bounces off of their skin, are bright white. Their swimsuits are painted in shades of yellow and white with added tones of pink.

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