Compare and Contrast Cézanne’s Bathers with Correggio’s Leda with the Swan

Compare and contrast CéZanne’s Bathers with Correggio’s Leda with the Swan

Paul Cézanne was a nineteenth century impressionist artist, who helped create the term ‘modern art’. An Impressionist artist, Cézanne portrayed his perceptual impression rather than recreate the details of reality like the renaissance painters, who were popular at the time. Cézanne’s painted thick palette brush strokes which aimed to capture the essence of the subject, in this case, ‘Bathers’ unlike the delicate mannerism adopted by Correggio. Cézanne made sure that every brushstroke was as prominent as the last leaving his work with a beautiful impasto texture. The unblended and separate colour touches were not accidental though; as Charles Harrison suggests in ‘Book 1 Reputations’, ‘One effect of this was to make it harder for the spectator to ignore the coincidence of the literal surface with the picture plane’ (Harrison, 2008, p. 66), meaning that he purposely did it to add a new dimension to his painting, making it not just a picture, but a ‘decorated surface (Harrison, 2008, p. 66)’’.

Antonio da Correggio (1494-1534), on the other hand, was an idolised traditional renaissance artist, who was famous for his refinement and elegance when painting. He painted Leda with the Swan in a classical style, most likely using a ‘soft hair’ paintbrush, deliberately smoothing over the application of paint, leaving it a flat and texture free literal surface, compared to Cezanne’s paintings. Correggio’s favoured a more photo realistic painting technique and used foreshortening to create a feeling of depth within the painting.

Both Cézanne and Corregio’s paintings show nude women. However, Cézanne painted the women in Bathers without sexuality, concentrating on delineation rather than trying to make them look womanly. Their body language suggests they are relaxed and free. The two women that are standing up seem to have their hair down, flowing in the wind. This carefree environment is...