Will I ever reach the goal I have sought for so long?
The pictures of bathing nudes in the landscape are tinged with Cézanne’s own memories of bathing in the river Arc, but they also descend from the great classical and mythological themes of 17th and 18th century painting.
Although Cézanne defended the need to paint from nature, his own view of it was dreamlike: a poetic universe with its own rhyme and rhythm in the repetition of forms and poses. In each painting he worked out different harmonies, exploring a dimension that went beyond mere representation. His bathing nudes elude any aesthetic categorization, exerting their own extraordinary power of attraction.
The Large Bathers were painted in the studio at Les Lauves. Three major versions of the theme are known, in Philadelphia, London and the Barnes Foundation in Pennsylvania.