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Paul Cézanne (18391906)   The Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)   Oil on canvas, 	1898-1905  210.5 cm × 250.8 cm (82 7/8 in × 98 3/4 in)  Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States
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Title: The Bathers
Description:
Paul Cézanne (18391906)
The Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)
Oil on canvas, 1898-1905
210.5 cm × 250.8 cm (82 7/8 in × 98 3/4 in)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States

The Bathers, Les Grandes Baigneuses in French, is a 20th century oil painting by French artist Paul Cézanne. The painting is the largest of a series of "Bather" paintings by Cézanne; the others are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the National Gallery, London. Occasionally referred to as the Big Bathers or Large Bathers to distinguish it from the smaller works, the painting is considered one of the masterpieces of modern art, and is often considered Cézanne's finest work. The painting was purchased in 1937 for $110,000 with funds from a trust fund for the Philadelphia Museum of Art by their major benefactor Joseph E. Widener.

With each version of the bathers, Cézanne moved away from the traditional presentation of paintings, intentionally creating works which would not appeal to the novice viewer. He did this in order to avoid fleeting fads and give a timeless quality to his work, and in so doing paved the way for future artists to disregard current trends and paint pieces which would appeal equally to all generations. The abstract nude females present in Large Bathers give the painting tension and density. Using the same technique as employed in painting landscapes and still lifes, Large Bathers is reminiscent of the work of Titian and Peter Paul Rubens. Comparisons are also often made with the other famous group of nude women of the same period, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.

The purchase of the painting, while generally praised, was nevertheless questioned by the Philadelphia Record, which noted that 41,000 (or ten percent) of Philadelphia's residents were without bathtubs, and that the money could therefore have been better spent else. While Cézanne's drawing ability has always been criticized, a critic once said that he "made the ineptly drawn Bathers a warm evocation of leisurely summer bliss." The painting was featured in the BBC Two series 100 Great Paintings.

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Paul Cézanne (18391906)   The Basket of Apples  Oil on canvas, 	1890s  65 cm × 80 cm (26 in × 31 in)  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, United StatesPaul Cézanne (18391906)   The Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)   Oil on canvas, 	1898-1905  210.5 cm × 250.8 cm (82 7/8 in × 98 3/4 in)  Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United StatesPaul Cézanne (18391906)   The Abduction  Oil on canvas, 1867   89.5 x 115.5 cm (35 1/4 x 45 1/2
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