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Paul Cezanne, Pioneer Post-Impressionist French Painter Who Influenced The Avant Garde Of The Early 20th century, Whose Masterpiece Les Grandes Baigneuses (The Great Bathers) Is A Cypher Of His Life's Work, A Riddle On Display At The Philadelphia Museum of Art, As Well As In This Pennsylvania State University Production Based On Art Historian Mary Louise Krumrine, Ph.D.'s Extensive Research On The Painting, Hosted And Narrated By E. G. Marshall, And Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1990, 58 Minutes.)
Paul Cezanne (January 19, 1839 - October 22, 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work introduced new modes of representation and influenced avant garde artistic movements of the early 20th century. Cezanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. While his early works are still influenced by Romanticism - such as the murals in the Jas de Bouffan country house - and Realism, Cezanne arrived at a new pictorial language through intensive examination of Impressionist forms of expression. He altered conventional approaches to perspective and broke established rules of academic art by emphasizing the underlying structure of objects in a composition and the formal qualities of art. Cezanne strived for a renewal of traditional design methods on the basis of the impressionistic colour space and colour modulation principles. Cezanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cezanne's intense study of his subjects. Both Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are said to have remarked that Cezanne "is the father of us all". His painting provoked incomprehension and ridicule in contemporary art criticism. Until the late 1890s it was mainly fellow artists such as Camille Pissarro and the art dealer and gallery owner Ambroise Vollard who discovered Cezanne's work and were among the first to buy his paintings. In 1895, Vollard opened the first solo exhibition in his Paris gallery, which led to a broader examination of the artist's work.
The Bathers (French: Les Grandes Baigneuses) is an oil painting by French artist Paul Cezanne first exhibited in 1906. The painting, which is exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is the largest of a series of Bather paintings by Cezanne; the others are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, National Gallery, London, the Barnes Foundation, Pennsylvania, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Occasionally referred to as the Big Bathers or Large Bathers to distinguish it from the smaller works, the painting is considered one of the masterpieces of modern art, and is often considered Cezanne's finest work. Cezanne worked on the painting for seven years, and it remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1906. The painting was purchased in 1937 for $110,000 with funds from a trust fund for the Philadelphia Museum of Art by their major benefactor, Joseph E. Widener. It was previously owned by Leo Stein. With each version of the Bathers, Cezanne moved away from the traditional presentation of paintings, intentionally creating works that would not appeal to the novice viewer. He did this to avoid fleeting fads and give a timeless quality to his work, and in so doing paved the way for future artists to disregard current trends and paint pieces that would appeal equally to all generations. The abstract nude females present in Large Bathers give the painting tension and density. It is exceptional among his work in symmetrical dimensions, with the adaptation of the nude forms to the triangular pattern of the trees and river. Using the same technique as employed in painting landscapes and still lifes, Large Bathers is reminiscent of the work of Titian and Peter Paul Rubens. Comparisons are also often made with the other famous group of nude women of the same period, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The purchase of the painting, while generally praised, was nevertheless questioned by The Philadelphia Record, which noted that 41,000 (or ten percent) of Philadelphia's residents were without bathtubs, and that the money could therefore have been better spent elsewhere. While Cezanne's drawing ability has always been criticized, a critic once said that he "made the ineptly drawn Bathers a warm evocation of leisurely summer bliss."