The Roman name for Aix-en-Provence implied natural baths or springs
Cézanne worked on this painting for about 8 years and it is the culmination of so many studies of bathers he did. (I was told that his models were actually bathing men, but he made them into women.) He lacks interest in correct anatomy and sensuality, but was deeply interested in meaning which he explored by connecting the relationship of the parts to the whole. Their nude forms take on geometric constructions, and motifs of the circle, triangle and cone are present, even in outline, here. He left open patches on parts of their bodies, as he sometimes did, but it's also possible the painting is unfinished. This painting represents Cézanne as an artist on a quest to understand humankind in the order of things, whose place in strong, but humbled next to the greatness of nature. Detail photos come from this website: http://www.artble.com/artists/paul_cezanne/paintings/the_large_bathers
Though Cézanne may not have been pleased with much of his art while here on earth, he has received an immortality in the end. Picasso, Matisse and others said he was the single greatest inspiration on the course of 20th century art, perhaps because of his ability to capture the essence over detail. The Grand Bathers is the essence of living life attuned to nature.