Paul Cezanne: The Bathers

Mary Louise Krumrine, Author ABRAMS $65 (321p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3162-6
Bathers--female and male--were an obsession of Cezanne and figure prominently in more than 200 of his oils, watercolors, lithographs and drawings. Not all of them are graceful forms dipping into baths or streams. In the earliest, rough-hewn pictures, fear of temptation and sensuality is the dominant mood, with woman portrayed as temptress or aggressor. The late, monumental series of statuesque bathers, completed shortly before his death in 1906, crystallize an attempt to reconcile the physical and the spiritual, Christian belief and pagan mythology. In her penetrating analysis, art historian Krumrine demonstrates how Cezanne used the bather theme to confront his changing attitudes toward women as he swung from fear of eroticism through uneasy submission and detached voyeurism to an idealization of woman as the eternal feminine. This superbly illustrated catalogue of a Swiss exhibit includes seldom-seen pictures revealing exotic sides of Cezanne not known to many. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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