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C O U R S E 
Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender
Jeanette Hoorn, The University of Melbourne
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Cezanne’s Bather: Masculinity and Movement
Notes taken on July 21, 2018 by Edward Tanguay
Paul Cezanne's The Bather (1885)
one of Cezanne's most arresting paintings
subtle tones of grey, blue and green
one of the hundreds of paintings Cezanne made around the subject of bathers and bathing
painted bathers throughout his career
more than 30 years
many have written on his remarkable obsession with the theme
the eroticism of Cezanne's bathers
his at times seemingly out-of-control brush work has been interpreted as conveying a sort sexual frisson
frisson, n. a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear, a thrill
rendition of fleshy and nubile bodies in which men and women cavort together in a range of settings are at odds with The Bather
a solitary figure of a young man in an open landscape
pure, tentative, uncertain, absorbed in his experience
as he finds his footing through a rocky coastal terrain
sparse and uneven
the body of the young man is positioned solidly, though very lightly
the grey hues with green highlights create the feeling of a coastal location
Cezanne famously spent lengthy periods of time in nature on his own
enjoyed bathing in the outdoors from his youth in Paris
where he studied with Émile Zola
particular feature of this painting that separates it out
figure in the picture is based on and present in a particular photograph
the shape of the body
the averted gaze of the subject
the way the figure distributes his weight mid-step
the placement of his hands on his hips
the folds in the drapery
even the over-sized nipple
why did he use a photograph
an experiment
following a program
his slavish adherence to the features of the photograph
has something of the scientific study about it
removed from the studies of erotic sensation and of the sensual body
rather the body in nature
1872 Darwin: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
used photographs to illustrate facial expression of emotions
Antoine Fortuné Marion
professor and director of the Natural History Museum in Marseille
painter and paleontologist
became one of France's leading Darwinists
researched the fossils of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire region
Cezanne also used a photograph to study the human form
the combination of the subjective emotions of the bather with the landscape
bathers hands are exaggerated
rhyme visually with the bather's feet
the feet also having grown in size
a work that is more about the body than bathing
presents a scientific study of a stationary body
complements movement forward but has yet to enact that process
Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)
English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion
published in 1887 at the University of Pennsylvania
Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904)
a French scientist, physiologist and chronophotographer
lived in Paris
in this way, The Bather stands apart from the many other works that Cezanne drew of bathers
is more like the scientific studies of the human body in motion at the time
the primary task Cezanne asks of the viewer
to ask how the young man takes a step forward into a rock pool
it is the precise study of movement
the articulation of the placement of the weight of the human body in anticipation of stepping forward
not the sensual pleasure that we associate with Cezanne's pictures of bathing bathers
which has received most of attention of art historians