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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101 M. R. G. Michel, Paris, has informed me (in a conversation in June 1971) that he seems to remember having seen impressions in which the sky area is entirely blue, as in the Ottawa maquette. I have not yet seen an impression which fits this description.

102 Printers generally regarded the artist's maquette as a working tool and did not hesitate to make notes on it (information kindly supplied by Miss Una Johnson, New York, in a conversation, 14 March 1971).

103 In at least two instances, however, Cézanne was involved with figures closely related to those in this composition. The center figure of the Baigneurs au repos is the subject of the single Bather (V. 548, 1885-1890) in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The figure on the left of the Study for "Les baigneuses" (fig. 16) is related to the figure at the far left of the painting.

104 Vollard, Recollections of a Picture Dealer, p. 61.

105 Waldfogel, op. cit., pp. 114 fr.

106 Ibid., p. 117.

107 cf. letter to Maurice Denis, 17 March 1902, and letter to his son, 26 September 1906, in Rewald, Paul Cézanne: Letters, pp. 222, 267. 

108. Georges Rivière, "L'exposition des impressionnistes,"
L'impressionniste (14 April 1877) no.12. Cited in Lionello Venturi, Les Archives de l'impressionnisme (Paris: Durand Ruel, 1939), vol. II, pp. 315 ff. Referring specifically to the Baigneurs au repos, Rivière quoted one of his friends as saying: "Je ne sais quelles qualités on pourrait ajouter à ce tableau pour le rendre plus émouvant, plus passionné....Le peintre des Baigneurs appartient à la race des gé le présent ne lui rend pas justice, l'avenir saura le classer parmi ses pairs à côté des demi-dieux de l'art" (p. 317).

109 Cézanne's letter to Pissarro of 2 July 1876 ( Rewald, Paul Cézanne: Letters, p. 104) indicates that he sent to the Impressionist exhibition only those works which he believed to be his best. According to Vollard, Renoir recalled that on chancing to meet Cézanne carrying the Baigneurs au repos to its first owner, the musician Cabaner, the Aixois artist expressed his satisfaction that the work was "pretty well realized" (Ambroise Vollard, Renoir: An Intimate Biography (New York: 1925). Elsewhere in the biography, Vollard quotes Renoir extolling the Cézanne painting as "extremely wise art" (p. 132). The accuracy of Vollard's accounts of conversations with artists is questionable. However, even if Vollard fabricated these statements, they are significant in thus reflecting the opinion of Vollard himself.

110 Vollard, Paul Cézanne, p. 59. 

111 lbid.

112 An example of the invitation is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

113 Cf. Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint (Paris: Bemheim Jeune, 1965), cat. no. 306. The date of the work is c. 1904-1905.

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