Paul Cézanne - Women dressing 1867

Women dressing 1867
Women dressing
1867 oil/canvas
Private Collection

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In 1866–67, inspired by the example of Courbet, Cézanne painted a series of paintings with a palette knife. He later called these works, mostly portraits, une couillarde ("a coarse word for ostentatious virility"). Lawrence Gowing has written that Cézanne's palette knife phase "was not only the invention of modern expressionism, although it was incidentally that; the idea of art as emotional ejaculation made its first appearance at this moment".
Among the couillarde paintings are a series of portraits of his uncle Dominique in which Cézanne achieved a style that "was as unified as Impressionism was fragmentary". Later works of the dark period include several erotic or violent subjects, such as Women Dressing (c.1867), The Rape (c.1867), and The Murder (c.1867-68), which depicts a man stabbing a woman who is held down by his female accomplice.