National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Bulletin 19, 1972

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Cézanne, Vollard, and Lithography: The Ottawa Maquette for the "Large Bathers" Colour Lithograph

by Douglas W. Druick

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52 John Rewald (ed.), Paul Cézanne: Letters, trans. Marguerite Kay (London: Bruno Cassirer, 1941), pp. 217, 220, 221, 227.

53 Vollard, Recollections of a Picture Dealer, p. 247.

54 Johnson, op. cit., pp. 15, 193. Johnson describes fourteen prints as having been "executed for the third but unpublished L'album des peintres-graveurs, 1898- " (e.g. J. 30, 31). This implies that they were commissioned for a specific publication when this was not, in fact, the case. Renoir executed the Mère et enfant (J. 141) and the Baigneuse debout (J. 142) in 1896. The former was used in the album of the same year whereas the latter was to be included in the third album (Johnson, op. cit., p. 124). It is obvious that Vollard was not commissioning works in 1896 for a publication which would not appear until 1899 at the earliest. Furthermore, the fact that Chagal's etching L'acrobate (J. 34) of 1925 is included in the list of works destined for the third album (Johnson, op. cit., p. 193) makes it apparent that Vollard's habit was to commission works and then find a place for them. This fact is of significance in the attempt to date the lithographs of Cézanne.

55 Mellerio, La lighographie originale en couleurs, pp. 18, 19. Rodin's contribution to the second album was a drawing of which Clot made a facsirnile (Johnson, op. cit., p. 136). 

56 Mellerio, La lithographie originale en couleurs, p. 22.

57 For example, Claude Roger-Marx, French Original Engraving from Manet to the Present Time (New York: Hyperion Press, 1939), p. 45.

58 The information Mellerio provides is not always correct. In his review of Vollard's second album, Mellerio referred to Puvis' Le pauvre pécheur (J. 131) as the "première tentative du maître dans l'estampe" ("Exposition de la deuxième année de l'album d'estampes originales; galerie Vol lard, 6, rue Lafitte," p. 10). Puvis had, however, previously done lithographs for L'estampe originale and L'épreuve.

59 This information comes from two different sources. Jean Goriany in his "Notes-on Prints: Cézanne's Lithograph The Bathers" Gazette des Beaux Arts, vol. 23 [February 1943], p. 123, 124), dismisses the theory that Clot made the stones for the Small Bathers after a watercolour drawing by the artist. He states that he was "informed by...Mr Atherton Curtis, that Clot had told him that the actual drawing on the stone [that is, for the black keystone] for the Small Bathers had been done by Cézanne himself." Mr Henri Petiet, a Paris collector and dealer who knows the Vollard publications thoroughly, remembers having received similar information from Curtis, who cited Clot as the source of his information (information kindly supplied by M. Hubert Prouté, Paris, in a letter dated 3 May 1971).

60 For example, Claude Roger-Marx, "Les peintres-graveurs français à la bibliothèque nationale," Beaux-Arts (31 March 1933), p. I. Gustav von Groschwitz, "The Significance of XIX Century Color Lithography," Gazette des Beaux Arts, vol. 44 July-December 1954), p. 258. Apparently von Groschwitz rejects the possibility that Cézanne worked directly on the stone because he misunderstands Goriany's statement as implying that Cézanne prepared all the stones for the Small Bathers (p. 259, n. 20). Clearly Goriany was discussing only the execution of the keystone from which the black-and-white impressions (fig. 9) were pulled.

61 The impressions on simili japon are not noted in the Johnson catalogue (op. cit., J. 31, p. 69).

62 Examination of an impression on simili japon (Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, fol. Dc 461) leads to the conclusion that Cézanne used a commercially-grained transfer paper known as papier viennois. This was a popular brand of transfer paper, recommended in E. Duchatel's contemporary treatise on lithography, Traité de lithographie artistique (Paris: Chez l'auteur, 1893), pp. 47 fr. Duchatel includes lithographs executed by means of this paper on plate 13. The paper was available in three grades of fineness.

63 The Venturi entry (op. cit., vol. I, p. 287) states that the lithograph is a repetition of the composition treated in the earlier painting.

64 I am indebted to Richard Schiff Yale University, for his assistance in the clarification of the date of this painting.

65 Venturi himself dates this watercolour, Baigfleurs et baigneuses (V.III0), to the period 1890-1900. Stylistically as well as compositionally, the work is related to a watercolour of Bathers in the collection of Mr and Mrs Taft Schreiber, Beverly Hills (not cited in Venturi). The Schreiber water-colour has been assigned to the period 1895-1900 (cf. Columbia University, Cézanne Watercolours, an exhibition at Knoedler & Co., New York, 2-20 April 1963, cat. no. 49, p. 48, repr. pl. XXXIX). Similarly V. 1110 should be assigned to the same period.

66 See, for example, V. 582, 589, 590, 591.

67 The figure about to descend into the water is seen in the drawings V. 1411, 1412, 1413 of the late eighties or early nineties and in a drawing of the mid-nineties published as cat. no. 191 in Wayne Andersen, Cézanne's Portrait Drawings (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1970), repr. p. 178. The same figure also appears in the watercolour entitled Study for "les baigneuses" (fig. 16) for which a date of c. 1895 seems appropriate.

68 For example, V. 1453, 1463, 1626.

69 For example, V. 707.

70 In working directly on the stone, one must avoid touching, sneezing on, or breathing on its surface since deposits of moisture wi1l be recorded in the impression. In the light of these problems, Duchatel (op. cit., p. 33) noted that by using transfer paper the artist, unaccustomed to drawing on the stone, can work with greater "hardiesse." For just this reason the Société des peintres-lithographes, founded in 1895, recommended that artists use transfer paper (cf. the article on transfer lithography written by Henri Hamel, the president of the Société in 1896, which is preserved in the Suite des critiques de l'oeuvre de Fantin-Latour, Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, Yb3 / 2747, p. 39). Even Fantin-Latour, a prolific lithographer, admitted to having experienced fear at the prospect of directly attacking the stone.

Next Page | Notes 71 to 87

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