Extraordinary original pencil sketches by Paul Cezanne on both sides of an off-white 7 x 9.5 sketch book page, accomplished during his early years: one side features a study of a nude man after an old master; the other side features sketches of a single reclining male figure, two faces in profile, and two feet, along with several numerical annotations. In very good condition, with scattered foxing and staining, a thin strip of old tape along one edge, and a short edge tear.
Drawn circa 1866-1869, these wonderful sketches represent Cezanne’s studies after old masters—the male nude after Italian Renaissance fresco painter Luca Signorelli, and the realist motifs on the opposite side after Eugene Delacroix’s ‘The Death of Sardanapalus.’ They demonstrate the great artist’s method of working as well as the sources from which he drew inspiration early in his artistic career. The condition and seemingly random jottings are consistent with other leaves from Cezanne’s private sketchbooks, many of which are now held by the Kunstmuseum Basel.
Theodor Werner, Berlin
Voty Werner, Munich (by descent from the above)
Acquired from the above in 1968
Sold at Sotheby’s in June 2007
Paris, Galerie Quatre-Chemins, Dessins et aquarelles de Cezanne, 1936
Gertrude Berthold, Cezanne und die alten Meister, Stuttgart, 1958, nos. 242 & 248, illustrated n.p.
Theodore Reff, 'Cezanne and Hercules' in Art Bulletin, XLVIII, 1966, p. 40, note 74
Adrien Chappuis, The Drawings of Paul Cezanne, New York, 1973, vol. I, nos. 141 (verso) & 183 (recto), catalogued pp. 79 & 89; vol. II, nos. 141 & 183, recto and verso illustrated n.p.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.