PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)
PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)
PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)
PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)
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PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)

Cinq baigneuses (recto); Études de baigneuse (verso)

PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)
Cinq baigneuses (recto); Études de baigneuse (verso)
pencil on paper (recto and verso)
5 3⁄8 x 5 1⁄4 in. (13.7 x 13.3 cm.)
Drawn circa 1879-1882

The three beautiful Cézanne drawings presented in this sale have been selected by gallerist, collector, author and publisher Karsten Schubert, just months before his untimely death in 2019.
A great connoisseur of Cézanne’s work, Schubert moved to England from Berlin after being lured by a friend to travel there, and fell immediately in love with London. There, he quickly became widely respected as a dealer in contemporary art, but his taste as a collector was much more conservative. He played an unparalleled part in promoting the group that would come to be known as the Young British Artists, and became a private artists' representative working with a select number of them, most famously Bridget Riley. In fact, it was through Riley, who had been deeply invested herself in Cézanne’s work form an early age, that Karsten Schubert came to a deeper understanding of the work of the French artist, whose drawings he started buying frantically, and continued to do so until the very end of his tragically interrupted life.
‘Cézanne always posed a problem for me.’ He would say in a conversation with the curator and art historian Yuval Etgar ‘That’s why I never managed to let go of him. On the contrary, the obsession seems only to be getting worse with time.’ […] ‘I bought my first Cézanne […] around 1983 or 1984. I did it out of sheer curiosity, not connoisseurship.’ (Exh. Cat., Ce´zanne at the Whitworth, the Karsten Schubert bequest, Manchester, 2019, p. 16).
Almost forty years later, the result of this passionate acquisition process – Karsten Schubert’s wonderful collection of Cézanne’s drawings and prints – has been generously bequeathed to the Whitworth Art Gallery through a process started in 2017 and completed just after his death. This important act of generosity means that the Whitworth now holds the best collection of Ce´zanne works on paper in the United Kingdom, including a version of every print produced by the artist.
Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Richard Davis, Minneapolis.
New Gallery [Eugene V. Thaw], New York.
Drue Heinz, United States, by whom acquired from the above in February 1960, and thence by descent; sale, Christie's, New York, 14 May 2019, lot 129.
Acquired at the above sale.
A. Vollard, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1914, p. 174 (recto illustrated).
L. Venturi, Cézanne: Son Art, Son Œuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1936, no. 1490, p. 327 (recto illustrated, vol. II, pl. 381; titled 'Baigneuses' and dated '1883-87').
A. Chappuis, The Drawings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, London, 1973, no. 517, p. 154 (recto illustrated vol. II, fig. 517; titled 'Five Women Bathers').
V. Bozal, 'Paul Cézanne: la mirada es le lenguaje' in La Balsa de la Medusa, no. 36, 1995 (recto illustrated on the cover; dated '1885-87').
G. Ballas, Cézanne, baigneuses et baigneurs, thème et composition, Paris, 2002, no. 51, p. 280 (recto illustrated).
W. Feilchenfeldt, J. Warman & D. Nash, The Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings of Paul Cézanne: An Online Catalogue Raisonné (, nos. FWN 2029 & FWN 2025 (recto & verso illustrated). Accessed in January 2022.
F. Ruppen, 'Constructing Drawings: On Cézanne's Use of Artists' Materials' in exh. cat., Cézanne to Malevich, Arcadia to Abstraction, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, 2021, no. 2, p. 459 (illustrated p. 72).

Basel, Kunstmuseum, Paul Cézanne: Die Badenden, September - December, 1989, no. 101a, p. 138 (recto illustrated).
Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Cézanne, September 1995 - January 1996, no. 63, p. 202 (recto illustrated p. 203; dated '1885-87'); this exhibition later travelled to London, The Tate Gallery, February - April 1996, and to Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, May - August 1996.
Manchester, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Cézanne at the Whitworth, August 2019 - March 2020, no. 9, p. 56 (recto illustrated on the cover & p. 57).
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Cézanne Drawing, June - September 2021, pp. 94 & 208 (recto illustrated pl. 101).

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Lot Essay

‘Cézanne…is the most copious source of what we know as modern art, the most abundant generator of ideas and the most enduring in newness’ (C. Greenberg, zanne and the Unity of Modern Art, 1951, New York).

The bathers motif - groupings of unidealized, unabashed nudes in richly verdant setting - is a seminal subject of Cézanne’s œuvre. Cinq baigneuses is the preliminary graphite sketch for a larger oil painting of the same title, in which the figures maintain the same postures and configurations.
Cézanne would create studies and sketches of isolated individual figures from the works of old masters in order to explore the dramatic and dynamic way these forms can create complex spatial arrangements. Cinq baigneuses is indicative of Cézanne’s focus on the variety of postures associated with the classical nude: standing, crouching, pointing and bathing. The subtle overlap of the bather’s forms in Cinq baigneuses emphasizes the dynamism present in the linear organization developed by the varied figures, rather than the individuals themselves.
Cinq baigneuses melds the corporeal and the botanical; the energetic modelling that defines the bodies of the bathers begins to blend seamlessly with their bucolic surroundings. This quality is also present in the oil version, as the long, flowing tresses of the left-most bather meld and become indistinguishable from the tree that frames her. This particular grouping of bathers, a neatly balanced five, is echoed in some of the greatest works of modernism to follow Cézanne, from Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon to Henri Matisse’s La Danse.
‘Cézanne's bathers have functioned as a source, an origin, a prize to be struggled over,’ Tamar Garb writes. ‘Their radical assault on traditional modes of representation has become a cliché of conventional critical wisdom while the unorthodox, clumsy appearance of both the figures and the landscape, so shocking to many of their first viewers, is now enshrined as the foundation of their greatness. Cézanne's 'inquiétude' as Picasso famously called it, has become legendary, even exemplary’ ‘Visuality and Sexuality in Cézanne's Late Bathers’, in Oxford Art Journal, vol. 19, no. 2, 1996, pp. 46-60).

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