Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

Le Repas (recto); Baigneur assis et dossier de chaise (verso)

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Le Repas (recto); Baigneur assis et dossier de chaise (verso)
watercolor and pencil on paper
5 ¾ x 8 3/8 in. (14.5 x 21.2 cm.)
Executed in 1880-1885
Georges Bernheim, Paris.
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris.
Shearmann collection, London.
Sir Hugh Walpole, London (until 1945).
H.J. Bomford, London (1946).
Captain S.W. Sykes, Cambridge.
The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), London.
Edith von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, London.
Paul Rosenberg, Paris.
Galerie Mouradian et Vallotton, Paris.
Galerie des Quatre Chemins (W. Walter), Paris.
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner, 1958.
L. Venturi, Cézanne, Son artson oeuvre, Paris, 1936, vol. I, p. 250, no. 893 (recto illustrated, vol. II, pl. 280; dated 1879-1882).
M. Schapiro, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1973, p. 18 (recto illustrated).
J. Rewald, Paul Cézanne, The Watercolors, A Catalogue Raisonné, Boston, 1983, p. 110, no. 105 (recto illustrated; with incorrect dimensions) and p. 119, no. 142 (verso illustrated; with incorrect dimensions).
London, Wildenstein & Co., Ltd., Homage to Paul Cézanne, July 1939, no. 48.
London, The Leicester Galleries (Ernest Brown & Phillips), The Art Collection of the Late Sir Hugh Walpole, Part I, April-May 1945, p. 19, no. 135 (dated 1879-1882).
London, Tate Gallery; Leicester Museum and Art Gallery and Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Paul Cézanne, Exhibition of Watercolours, March-July 1946, no. 8 (dated 1879-1892).
New Orleans, Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, Odyssey of an Art Collector (The Stafford Collection), November 1966-January 1967, p. 175, no. 188 (recto illustrated, p. 118; with incorrect dimensions and dated circa 1879-1882).
Cambridge, Harvard Art Museums, 2001-2008 (on extended loan).

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Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the forthcoming online catalogue raisonné of Paul Cézanne's watercolors, under the direction of Walter Feilchenfeldt, David Nash and Jayne Warman.

The vast majority of Cézanne's watercolors feature landscape and still-life subjects, and there is a smaller number related to bathers and important figure paintings. These characteristic works are composed and effortful, but occasionally one comes across a more casual subject; a member of the artist's family seen in some momentary aside, everyday objects and domestic furnishings, or whatever may have caught the artist's eye in passing. The present work, Le Repas, is a fine example of this informal intimiste manner, a charming and affectionate watercolor depicting two women seated at a kitchen table while enjoying a meal together. On the verso of Le Repas there is a watercolor study of a bather and the back of a chair. The women in the recto composition are depicted in a candid, unposed moment, which creates a happy domestic atmosphere. In this scene, the titanic, struggling figure of Cézanne the artist stands aside, and we behold Cézanne the man, the paterfamilias, and we may begin to appreciate him in the ways that those who lived with him and loved him must have felt in his presence.
Interestingly, the table seen here with the side drawer in the foreground is recognizable as the table which appears in two of Cézanne’s important Les joueurs de cartes paintings which reside in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (fig. 1) and The Barnes Foundation, Philadephia. Cézanne executed a total of five Card Players paintings—dating from the first half of the 1890s, these works have long been recognized as among the most important and very finest works he ever created. Painted in 1880-1885, Le Repas was executed 5-10 years before Cézanne would begin his Card Players, and could therefore be considered one of his early explorations in depicting figures sitting at a table in advance of his work on the Card Players series.
Christie’s is honored to present another Cézanne watercolor from the Stafford Family Collection in our Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 12 November 2015, lot XXX.
(fig. 1) Paul Cézanne, Les joueurs de cartes, 1890-1892. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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