This painting is related to . Several drawings are also connected to the work (Chappuis 466 and 466bis). Like the preceding entry, the standing figure at left recurs in a number of compositions of female bathers.
Henri Matisse first saw this canvas at Ambroise Vollard's rue Laffitte gallery in December 1899. He bought the painting in several payments at great financial sacrifice and revered it throughout his life. While teaching art at his Académie Matisse in Paris the painter would at times become emotional in front of this work. One of his students recalled: "With great modesty and deep inner pride, he showed us his painting Bathers by Cézanne. His silence before it was ore evocative and eloquent than words. A spirit of elation and aw pervaded the studio at such times." (Max Weber, "Cézanne and the Crisis of Art," in A. Barr, Matisse: His Art and Public, 1951, p. 87)
He is famously quoted as saying: "If you only knew the moral strength, the encouragement that his remarkable example gave me all my life! In moments of doubt, when I was still searching for myself, frightened sometimes by my discoveries, I thought: 'If Cézanne is right, I am right'; because I knew that Cézanne made no mistake." (H. Matisse interview with Jacques Guenne, 1925, reprinted in Flam, Matisse on Art, 1995, p. 80)