announces the auction of an exceptional work of art by Paul Cézanne at its Impressionist and Modern Art sale on December 1st, 2011. This oil on canvas study was realized between 1902 and 1906 when the artist was at the peak of his career. This study, one of the few known to this date, is estimated between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 Euros.
Thomas Seydoux, International director of the Impressionist and Modern Art department: The Bathers of Paul Cézanne figure among the most famous compositions in Art History. Discovering and unveiling this oil on canvas study was a very exhilarating moment, because it is the first time in decades that we discover such a piece of art.
The famous series of paintings The Bathers, executed between 1894 and 1906, are today recognized to be emblematic works of art by Paul Cézanne. They are, according to Philip Conisbee, former curator of the Washington National Gallery of Art, the heritage of Cézanne.
In addition to the series are three final large format versions executed between 1894 and the artists death in 1906. We know that a great deal of Cézannes work was influenced by this theme. He created numerous studies and sketches, most of them were pencil drawings which always stayed in his chests drawer, in his room, or in his desks drawer in his studio showing an obstinacy working on the subject (J. Gasquet, Cézanne, Paris, 1926, p. 55). Until this day, only a few of these registered studies are the same composition as in the final versions. Among these studies, seven are oil paintings, including the work presented here, while others are in watercolor. These studies are now all held in public institutions.
The owners grand-father acquired this study in 1961 from the Parisian merchant Otto Wertheimer and it has not been seen or exhibited since then. Coming from Ambroise Vollards succession, this work of art would have been acquired by Otto Wertheimer in the early Fifties. The limited number of successive ownerships contributed to the rarity of this piece which remained unknown to the public until this day. The rediscovery of this work of art celebrates one of the most important events of the season.