|Paul Cezanne 1839-1906||BACK
|Cezanne was born in Aix-en-Provence to a wealthy family and received a classical education. His father had charted his path in life for him, to become a banker and a lawyer. He fled to Paris to paint but found out that he was technically inferior to his fellow students and gave up after five months and returned home. There he tried banking, failed and then spent time going back and forth between Paris and Aix many times between 1858 and 1872.
Cezanne met the young Impressionists but never became close to them except for Pissarro who took him under his wing. His violent temper and rudeness made him unbearable. He gradually soaked up the colors of Impressionism but was never interested in the way they tried to capture the look, feel, and aura of nature. Cezanne said that all of nature could be distilled to the cylinder, sphere and cone.
Cezanne was fascinated with the still life and painted over two hundred. In his late watercolors and landscapes he developed a magical series of brushstrokes that looked like dragonfly wings, ever shifting, overlapping and breaking apart and coming back together. Cubism was not far off.
Cezanne was an artist's artist, and his restrained pictures are impersonal and remote, much like his personality. His art misunderstood and discredited by art critics eventually challenged all the conventional values of painting through his insistence on personal expression and on the integrity of the painting itself.
As he had desired, Cezanne painted just about to the last day of his
life. While working on a landscape out of doors on October 15, 1906,
he was caught in a heavy rainstorm. Drenched and chilled he walked
toward home. But the strain was too much for him and he collapsed
on the roadside. The illustrious artist was found some time later by
a driver of a laundry cart. On the morning of October 23, Cezanne
died of pneumonia. He was buried at the old cemetery in his beloved
hometown of Aix-en-Provence.
In spite of deteriorating health Cezanne persisted in his habitual and obsessive routines until his death in 1906. Hardly leaving the Aix area, he still preferred to work in the open air from his favorite vantage points, often returning to subjects he had painted dozens of times before. His sense of the complexity of art, of its intimate but paradoxical relationship to the perceived world, had deepened, and he continued to experiment with new techniques and ideas until his last months. At times he would strip down the shapes of his chosen subject to a few spare lines and forms, like the ellipses of a bowl of fruit or the parallels of branches and tree trunks, while at others he would build up dense and subtle reverberations of color, texture and surface incident. In his late paintings, the language of his art announces itself with increasing clarity, insisting on its separateness from observed nature while moving closer to the "vibrating sensations" of the scene that he himself described.
Among the young artists who discovered Cezanne's painting in the years before his death were some of the major figures of the Parisian avant-garde, notably Matisse, Braque and Picasso. A series of exhibitions of the elderly master's work was held in Paris at the turn of the century, and his influence can be felt in the younger artists' choice of subjects, color harmonies and stylistic devices. Georges Braque went as far as to travel to Provence to paint in front of some of Cezanne's subjects, while Picasso was principally attracted to the great bather pictures. His admiration for Cezanne is openly acknowledged in his Demoiselles d'Avignon of 1907, one of the cornerstones of Cubism and of early 20th-century art. Although Cezanne did not live to see these developments - and might not have approved of them if he had - he was clearly gratified by the attentions of the younger generation. Sensing the significance of his work for the future of painting, he declared at the end of his life that, "I am the primitive of a new art."
The Four Seasons, 1860
The Joy of Hide and Seek, 1862
Bread and Eggs, 1865
Sugar Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup, 1866
Portrait of a Man, 1866
Uncle Dominique, 1866
Skull and Candlestick, 1866
The Bather at the Rock, 1867
The Negro Scipion, 1867
Le Christ aux Limbes, 1869
La Madeleine, 1869
Still Life with Green Pot and Pewter Jug, 1869
Pastoral (Idyll), 1870
The Railway at Sainte-Victoire, 1870
Flowers and Fruit, 1872
Pool at the Jas de Bouffan, 1878
Three Bathers, 1879
Houses in Provence, 1879
Compotier, Glass, and Apples, 1880
Boy in a Red Vest, 1888
Mardi Gras, 1888
The Pigeon Tower at Bellevue, 1889
The Boy in a Red Vest, 1890
Curtain, Jug, and Compotier, 1893
Nudes in Landscape, 1900
BooksC�zanne by Himself
by Richard Kendall (Editor)
C�zanne: The Self-Portraits
by Steven Platzman, Paul Cezanne
Conversations with C�zanne
(Documents of Twentieth-Century Art)
by Michael Doran (Editor),
Julie Lawrence Cochran (Translator)
The Paintings of Paul Cezanne : A Catalogue Raisonne
by John Rewald, Walter Feilchenfeldt,
Jayne Warman, Walter Felchenfeldt (Contributor)
This listing of artists is not official. It is merely intended to group the artists in an easy to navigate format.
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