The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 20, 2014


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston welcomes Cézanne's masterpiece "The Large Bathers"
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), The Large Bathers, 1906. Oil on canvas. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the W.P. Wilstach Fund. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
BOSTON, MASS.- Two different visions of earthly paradise created by two modern masters—Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) and Paul Gauguin (1848–1903)—hang side-by-side for the first time in Boston as part of the Visiting Masterpieces series at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Large Bathers (ca. 1900–1906, Paul Cézanne), lent by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has been juxtaposed with the MFA’s Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous?) (1897–98, Paul Gauguin). The monumental paintings are on view February 2 through May 12 in the Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery.

“Thanks to this extraordinary loan from Philadelphia, visitors to the MFA will be able to see these final testaments of Cézanne and Gauguin and their contrasting representations of paradise conceived from two distinct vantage points,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts. “Juxtapositions such as this, which add a greater depth to the appreciation of important works of art in our collection, are what the Museum’s Visiting Masterpieces series is all about.”

The Large Bathers and Where Do We Come From? were created at the turn of the 20th century. During this period, both artists were at the end of their careers Cézanne working in Provence, and Gauguin in Tahiti. They knew each other’s work; Gauguin had even bought several paintings by the older artist before his own artistic career took off, but Cézanne remained suspicious of the young Gauguin, regarding him as a potential competitor.

“Cézanne and Gauguin approached classical tradition in highly personal and quintessentially modern terms. These works form a bridge from the 19th to 20th century, and they influenced the generation of modern artists that included Picasso and Matisse,” said Emily Beeny, assistant curator of paintings in the MFA’s Art of Europe. “The two paintings represent these artists’ struggle to take a very old subject—idealized nudes in an idyllic landscape—and make it new. The results of this struggle are as different in appearance as the characters of the men who made them, but seeing them side-by-side allows us to consider their common point of departure and to contemplate the diverging paths they set forth for the subsequent generation.”

Measuring 7 by 8 feet, The Large Bathers comprises 14 nude figures in movement and repose along a sandy, sunlit shoreline, their grouping framed by a graceful triangle of slanting tree-trunks. The bathers’ activities are enigmatic, their poses, statuesque. Emerging from Cézanne’s lifetime of study, the individual bathers have been traced to varied sources, from student drawings after the live model to a study of the Venus de Milo. Simplified, abstracted, distilled to their essential geometric forms, these nudes exist outside of ordinary reality.

Gauguin’s Where are we going?, with its seven glowing nudes arranged frieze-like against a jewel-toned landscape, reflects the artist’s idealized vision of Tahiti as well as influences from other sources—Maori artifacts, Buddhist sculpture, even a Peruvian mummy. In letters to associates back in France, Gauguin suggested that the large (4.5 by 12 feet) frescolike painting should be read from right to left, with three major figure groups pondering the questions posed in the title, written in French in the upper left-hand corner of the painting. The three women and sleeping infant represent the beginning of life; thecentral group symbolizes adulthood and the onset of maturity. In the final group, according to the artist, the blue idol to the left of center represents “the Beyond,” while an old woman “approaching death appears reconciled and resigned to her thoughts.” The MFA purchased this seminal work in 1936.

The theme of bathers in western art reaches back to antiquity. It gained popularity as a subject for paintings in 16th-century Venice and remained a touchstone for European artists through the 19th century. Although both Cézanne and Gauguin chose to explore the same theme, their approaches were vastly different as were their temperaments. Cézanne was shy and spent almost his entire life in France. From the 1870s on, when he was still a member of the Impressionist group, he drew his subject matter primarily from his immediate environment, painting landscapes, people, and objects in and around his home in Provence. The exception was the artist’s imagined bathers in a landscape, an idea that preoccupied Cézanne all his life. During this period, until his death in 1906, he produced more than 200 paintings and drawings on the theme. This body of work culminated in three monumental canvases, painted between 1890 and 1906, which now belong to the Barnes Collection, the National Gallery in London, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Cézanne worked for the final six years of his life on the canvas in Philadelphia, which the museum purchased in 1937

In contrast, Gauguin was a charismatic and adventuresome sensualist, who lived much of his life abroad. A native of Paris, he spent his early childhood in Peru, returned to France, then went to sea as a young man. After a career as a stockbroker, Gauguin turned to painting. He spent his later years painting in the South Pacific, where his adolescent mistresses often served as models. Gauguin undertook Where are we going? in the winter of 1897. He had left France two years earlier, settling in Tahiti, where he had hoped to discover an earthly paradise unsullied by European modernity, but where he instead encountered the effects of French colonization and confronted his own mental and physical decline. To mitigate his disappointment, Gauguin forged his own “Promised Land,” an imaginary world of lush tropical landscapes peopled with Tahitian models and animated by his own invented mythology. In spite of his aversion to European influences, the classical tradition informed the artist’s Tahitian practice in ever more profound ways.

These masterworks of French painting reflect the two artists’ awareness of their own mortality and were consciously conceived as end points—final statements marking the close of a career. Cézanne suffered bouts of illness in his later years and thought that he would die painting. “I work relentlessly. I glimpse the Promised Land…will I be able to reach it?” said Cézanne while working on The Large Bathers in 1903, three years before his death in Aix-en-Provence. Across the globe in Tahiti, Gauguin envisioned Where are we going? as a last will and testament. He completed it in a blaze of creativity in January 1898 before setting out for the mountains to take his own life. In a letter he wrote after this suicide attempt, Gauguin explained, “Before I died I wished to paint a large canvas that I had in mind…I believe that…I shall never do anything better, or even like it. Before death I put into it all my energy, a passion so painful in circumstances so terrible, and my vision was so clear that all haste of execution vanishes and life surges up.” Though living in paradise, Gauguin was filled with self-doubt—fueled by lack of recognition and recompense-which plagued the artist until his 1903 death.





Last Week News

February 2, 2013

Newseum opens exhibit featuring Martin Luther King Birmingham, Alabama jail cell door

As Indian art world meets, prices stay depressed, down 70 to 75 percent from their peak

Exhibition of Paul Singer Collection marks new beginnings for research in ancient Chinese art

Eliel Saarinen's Architectonic Tea Urn from the 1930s recently acquired for the Dallas Museum of Art collection

Vienna's Leopold Museum to welcome art buffs in the buff on February 18 for nude exhibition

The Shard is pinnacle of London's redevelopment, opens its viewing platform to the public

The Hammer Museum presents the most comprehensive retrospective to date of Los Angeles artist Llyn Foulkes

Most comprehensive solo presentation to date by visual artist Rosa Barba opens at Turner Contemporary

Nate D. Sanders Auctions announces Arthur Ashe Estate to be auctioned on the 20th Anniversary of his death

New Curator of Western American Art appointed for Haub Collection at Tacoma Art Museum

Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas donates items to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Blum & Poe announces the publication of a new book by Los Angeles-based artist Friedrich Kunath

In seventh Raw/Cooked Series of exhibitions, Marela Zacarias opens exhibition at Brooklyn Museum

'Nighthawks' for night owls as Hopper finishes on Paris high

oowendeseejntskommaartsjingin: Benjamin Verdonck's exhibition opens at Tim Van Laere Gallery

"Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video" opens at the Portland Art Museum

Nick Evans' most ambitious exhibition to date opens at Tramway in Glasgow

Tobias Madison works with feedback loops and shifts in forms in new exhibition at Kunsthalle Zurich

Knock Knock: Exhibition of work by contemporary artists opens at Jerwood Gallery

February 1, 2013

Exhibition traces the shift and the development of Kendell Geers' aesthetic language

Frist Center hosts Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Highlights from the Detroit Institute of Arts

Ashmolean receives major collection of Renaissance gold and silver: The Michael Wellby Bequest

CGC-Graded 6.5 Detective Comics #27 offered, without reserve, in Heritage Auctions Comics Event

Most Timbuktu texts at Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research saved say curators

Harvard Art Museums present exhibition of Norma Jean Calderwood's collection of Islamic Art

Connection between geometric symbols and abstract art explored at Stephen Haller Gallery

Haunch of Venison presents an exhibition by landscape photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper

Patrick Heron's unseen sketches of T.S. Eliot go on display at National Portrait Gallery for the first time

Treasure of gold coins discovered in a French champagne house for sale at Bonhams

Photographs by David "Chim" Seymour and Roman Vishniac on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery

Marcin Maciejowski's first exhibition in a UK public gallery opens at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Swann Galleries in New York announces February 14 Auction of African-American Fine Art

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents first mid-career survey of major British artist Jeremy Deller

UK premier of US artist Mark Boulos' film, No Permanent Address at Lisson Gallery

Exhibition presents original works and hand-written notes from Henri Matisse's book, Jazz

Meijer Gardens' winter exhibition features Dutch sculptor Hanneke Beaumont

Philippe Vandenberg's first solo show in the UK opens at Hauser & Wirth

Russia revives Stalingrad city name

Landscapes: Lancaster and Beyond Annual Invitational on view at the Demuth Museum

January 31, 2013

Hayward Gallery's Light Show features a series of compelling and dramatic experiences

Sotheby's dedicated Surrealist Art Evening Sale to be highlighted by works by Dalí, Magritte and Miró

Christie's announces landmark online-only auction series to benefit the Andy Warhol Foundation

Romanian suspect 'saw Matisse and Gauguin paintings stolen in Dutch heist' says lawyer

Exhibition at Hauser & Wirth takes a look at a pivotal year in Eva Hesse's career: 1965

Irving Penn's "Cosmic Underfoot" showcased at the Art Institute of Chicago

Strong results for Property from the Estate of Giancarlo Baroni lead off Sotheby's Old Masters Week sales

Two-day estate event at Heritage Auctions offers 1,600+ eclectic lots of art, antiques and collectibles

Sixty years after its founding, Aperture Magazine relaunches with fresh content, bold redesign

Fine art collection of Dixie Cup mastermind is centerpiece of Myers' Feb. 10 auction

First solo exhibition by German artist David Jablonowski opens at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Bonhams New York showcases superb Meiji craftmanship in Fine Japanese Works of Art Sale

Nothin' but Working: Phill Niblock, a Retrospective opens at Musée de l'Elysée

Brancolini Grimaldi presents works by German artist Heidi Specker

Berkeley Art Museum exhibits recently gifted Japanese screens

'Sinly yours': India displays rare Gandhi letters

Dallas Museum of Art publishes its first catalogue of South and Southeast Asian art

The Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents Prepared Box for John Cage

Art at the Heart: Chagall's flowers for Valentine's Day at Bonhams

Monterey Museum of Art hosts exhibition of works by prominent printmaker Beth Van Hoesen

January 30, 2013

Tate Britain opens first major exhibition to examine the late work of Kurt Schwitters

Sotheby's New York to offer the Amaya Collection of Modern & Contemporary Indian art

Rigorous selection of works from throughout Bruce Nauman's career opens at Hauser & Wirth

Charity furious as Musee d'Orsay visitors turn up nose at poor family that smelled

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski's surreal and transgressive universe on view at Hauser & Wirth

Sotheby's Paris announces the sale of the Library of the Ducs de Luynes Chateau de Dampierre

'Not to publish' Princess Diana photo sells for $18,000 at RR Auction in Amherst

Exhibition of French Naturalist painters (1890-1950) opens at Chester Collections

Gilles Caron's first major retrospective opens at Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne

UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive examines the different aspects of silence

New e-books from the Fundación Cisneros expand on the text and make Latin American art come to life

Exhibition reveals fascinating images from the stellar collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA Showcases Artistry of American Fashion Design

Design Museum Collection: Extraordinary stories about ordinary things

Detroit Institute of Arts acquires Murano glass chandelier sculpture by Fred Wilson

New York-based identical twin artists How & Nosm open exhibition at Jonathan Levine Gallery

A unique exhibition examines the influence of environmental design strategies in modern architecture

Grass Roots: African origins of an American art explored at Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of

January 29, 2013

Romanian fashion designer Catalin Botezatu's home searched over Dutch art heist

Detroit Institute of Arts to display Van Gogh painting on loan from Musée d'Orsay

Italian fashion house Fendi to fund $2.85 million Trevi Fountain repairs in Rome

New York State Museum exhibits Gordon Parks photography celebrating his 100th birthday

West Coast premiere of Andy Warhol's film San Diego Surf at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Never before seen Vija Celmins work "Untitled (Knife and Dish)" surfaces in Los Angeles

Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art mourns loss of philanthropic leader Adele Hall

No free rides on pricey Marklin carousel in Noel Barrett's $1.3 million Winter Auction

Devon cupboard find turns brass into gold at Bonhams South African Art sale on March 20

Art Gallery nurtures next generation of artists and art lovers with new dedicated activity space

Rochester Art Center presents exhibition by leading representative of the "New Leipzig School" of painting

Polish director and audio-visual artist Lech Majewski at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Torun

The Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University names David Houston as its first Director

University of Richmond Museums presents "Flow, Just Flow: Variations on a Theme"

"Jennifer Karady in Country: Soldiers' Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan opens at Ursinus College

Laurence Miller Gallery opens its first exhibition of photographs by Kazuo Sumida

Patek Philippe drives remarkable results at Antiquorum's Spring Auction in Hong Kong

Did cavemen have mystical powers? New book explains what cave paintings indicate

January 28, 2013

Archaeological dig finds that ancient groups incinerated and buried their departed in pots

Beijing Voice: Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Xiaogang exhibits at Pace Beijing

Exhibition of new works on paper by Carmen Herrera opens at Lisson Gallery Milan

Exhibition at Leslie Sacks Fine Art in Los Angeles focuses on women's art now

Banksy: The story behind the subversive and secretive street artist that turned the art world upside-down

An adventure that is about to conclude: Vochol travels to Brussels for its final showing

Exhibition of work by American artist Fred Sandback at David Zwirner in London

Portland Museum of Art announces Elizabeth Cartland as new Director of Development

Exhibition of photographs by scenographer Jan Versweyveld opens at Foam in Amsterdam

Energy Fields: ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates the 85th birthday of Otto Piene

The Museo del Prado has extended the major exhibition "The Young Van Dyck" for an additional month

Art Nouveau, skiing and winter resort, Judaic posters at auction at Swann Galleries

Seth Stein Architects create exciting new luxury property in London's Notting Hill area

The AIPAD Photography Show to be held in New York on April 4-7 at the Park Avenue Armory

DeCordova presents exhibition of works by Boston-based artist Andrew Witkin

Auschwitz unveils Russia exhibit to mark liberation

Legendary Artist Patti Smith to perform at the Art Gallery of Ontario in March 2013

Art Gallery unveils sumptuous new Melrose Wing of European Art

American treasures on view at Willoughby-Baylor House

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site