Paul Cézanne’s Large Bathers is widely regarded as a masterpiece of modern art. The painting took the artist seven years to complete and remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1906. Cézanne’s exploration of nudes in a landscape reaches its peak in this work where figures drawn from his imagination blend seamlessly into the setting.
The painting features a landscape with brilliant plein-air painting style, while the figures have an innovative interpretation that reconciles themselves within it. Large Bathers explores traditional nude subjects in nature and brings forth an original and innovative interpretation without forsaking monumentality.
The painting attained utmost splendor by being one of those works that epitomizes Cézanne’s ideal of composition, which resulted from his inspiration towards materiality, sculptural origins, restoration of classic monumentality after lapsing during the 19th century. The Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased Large Bathers for $110,000 in 1937 with funds from a trust fund; it was previously owned by Leo Stein.