Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
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Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

L'après-midi à Naples

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
L'après-midi à Naples
gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper
5 1/8 x 7¾ in. (12.9 x 19.5 cm.)
Executed in 1870-1872
Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Private collection, Dusseldorf.
Fritz and Peter Nathan, Zurich (no. C-1543).
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (on loan from the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, from January 1970 to June 1972).
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; sale; Sotheby's, London, 2 April 1974, lot 41.
Jan Krugier, Geneva, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Galerie Krugier & Geoffroy, Geneva.
Barbara Divver Fine Arts, New York, 1986.
A. Vollard, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1914, p. 57 (illustrated).
J. Meier-Graefe, Munich, Cézanne und sein Kreis, Munich, 1922, p. 108 (illustrated).
L. Venturi, Cézanne, son art - son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1936, no. 822 (illustrated vol. II, pl. 270).
G. Schmidt, Paul Cézanne, Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Vienna, 1971, p. 14.
A. Neumeyer, Cézanne Drawings, New York & London, 1958, p. 22.
A. Chappuis, Die Zeichnungen von Paul Cézanne - Kupfertichkabinett der öffentlichen Kunstsammlung Basel, Olten & Lausanne, 1962, p. 63.
S. Lichtenstein, 'Cézanne and Delacroix' in The Art Bulletin, XLVI, March 1964, p. 59.
M. Schapiro, 'Les Pommes de Cézanne' in Revue de l'Art, 1-2, 1968, p. 77.
G. Adriani, Paul Cézanne-Zeichnungen, Cologne, 1978, p. 311.
G. Adriani, Paul Cézanne, Der Liebeskampf, Munich, 1980, p. 10 (illustrated fig. 2).
G. Adriani, Paul Cézanne Aquarelle, Cologne, 1981, no. 3 (illustrated in colour).
J. Rewald, Paul Cézanne, The Watercolours, A Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1983, no. 35 (illustrated in black and white, and illustrated again in colour pl. 13).
Portland, Museum of Art, Recent Acquisitions by the Norton Simon Museum, November 1968.
Tubingen, Kunsthalle, Paul Cézanne - Aquarelle 1886-1906, January - March 1982, no. 3; this exhibition later travelled to Zurich, Kunsthaus, April - May 1982.
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Paul Cézanne, June - September 1983, no. 32.
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Lot Essay

The present work is closely related to a painting of the same title (fig. 1), usually dated between 1867 and 1877, with the substantial difference between the two being the inclusion of a cat at the lower right in the watercolour. The complex compositional arrangement of the present work, with its crowded interior setting and suggestive narrative, is related moreover to two further paintings, namely the versions of A Modern Olympia (Private collection and Musée d'Orsay, Paris; R.171 & 225), of which the Paris picture is dateable to 1873, as well as another watercolour entitled Le Punch au rhum (RWC.34). The dramatis personae of the present picture also strongly recall the scandalous cast of Manet's Olympia, the work which embodied perhaps more than any other the spirit of the Salon des Refusés of 1863 (fig. 2).

The present version of L'après-midi à Naples, and the series to which it belongs, demonstrated Cézanne's admiration for the masters of the seventeenth-century, and for Rubens in particular. From the heavy swag of drapery held aside at the left edge to the robustly drawn, interlocking figures resting within a highly-wrought composition, Cézanne's quotations from the Baroque vocabulary are manifold and deftly manifest.

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