Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne's repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are characteristic and recognizable, he used planes of small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects. Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all." The Cézannes came from the commune of Saint-Sauveur. Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence. On 22 February, he was baptized in the Église de la Madeleine, with his grandmother and uncle Louis as godparents, became a devout Catholic in life, his father, Louis Auguste Cézanne, a native of Saint-Zacharie, was the co-founder of a banking firm that prospered throughout the artist's life, affording him financial security, unavailable to most of his contemporaries and resulting in a large inheritance.
His mother, Anne Elisabeth Honorine Aubert, was "vivacious and romantic, but quick to take offence". It was from her that Cézanne got his vision of life, he had two younger sisters and Rose, with whom he went to a primary school every day. At the age of ten Cézanne entered the Saint Joseph school in Aix. In 1852 Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon in Aix, where he became friends with Émile Zola, in a less advanced class, as well as Baptistin Baille—three friends who came to be known as "les trois inséparables", he stayed there for six years. In 1857, he began attending the Free Municipal School of Drawing in Aix, where he studied drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk. From 1858 to 1861, complying with his father's wishes, Cézanne attended the law school of the University of Aix, while receiving drawing lessons. Going against the objections of his banker father, he committed himself to pursuing his artistic development and left Aix for Paris in 1861, he was encouraged to make this decision by Zola, living in the capital at the time.
His father reconciled with Cézanne and supported his choice of career. Cézanne received an inheritance of 400,000 francs from his father, which rid him of all financial worries. In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro; the friendship formed in the mid-1860s between Pissarro and Cézanne was that of master and disciple, in which Pissarro exerted a formative influence on the younger artist. Over the course of the following decade their landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise, led to a collaborative working relationship between equals. Cézanne's early work is concerned with the figure in the landscape and includes many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted. In his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and developed a light, airy painting style. In Cézanne's mature work there is the development of a solidified architectural style of painting. Throughout his life he struggled to develop an authentic observation of the seen world by the most accurate method of representing it in paint that he could find.
To this end, he structurally ordered. His statement "I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums", his contention that he was recreating Poussin "after nature" underscored his desire to unite observation of nature with the permanence of classical composition. Cézanne was interested in the simplification of occurring forms to their geometric essentials: he wanted to "treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone". Additionally, Cézanne's desire to capture the truth of perception led him to explore binocular vision graphically, rendering different, yet simultaneous visual perceptions of the same phenomena to provide the viewer with an aesthetic experience of depth different from those of earlier ideals of perspective, in particular single-point perspective, his interest in new ways of modelling space and volume derived from the stereoscopy obsession of his era and from reading Hippolyte Taine’s Berkelean theory of spatial perception. Cézanne's innovations have prompted critics to suggest such varied explanations as sick retinas, pure vision, the influence of the steam railway.
Cézanne's paintings were shown in the first exhibition of the Salon des Refusés in 1863, which displayed works not accepted by the jury of the official Paris Salon. The Salon rejected Cézanne's submissions every year from 1864 to 1869, he continued to submit works to the Salon until 1882. In that year, through the intervention of fellow artist Antoine Guillemet, he exhibited Portrait de M. L. A. Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cézanne, The Artist's Father, Reading "L'Événement", 1866, his first and last successful submission to the Salon. Before 1895 Cézanne exhibited twice with the Impressionists. In years a few individual paintings were shown at various venues, unti
The Arc is an 83-kilometre long river in Southern France. It arises at an elevation of 470 metres, close to the village of Pourcieux, it passes through Aix-en-Provence before flowing into the Étang de Berre, a lagoon connected with the Mediterranean Sea to the west of Marseille. Its drainage basin, with a surface area of 727 square kilometres, is divided between two départments and Bouches-du-Rhône; the Bayeux, the Cause and the Torse are its tributaries. The Roquefavour Aqueduct passes over the river.
The Boy in the Red Vest
The Boy in the Red Vest known as The Boy in the Red Waistcoat, is a painting by Paul Cézanne, painted in 1889 or 1890. It is a fine example of Cézanne's skilled and innovative mature work after 1880. Cézanne painted four oil portraits of this Italian boy in the red vest, all in different poses, which allowed him to study the relationship between the figure and space; the most famous of the four, the one referred to by this title, is the one which depicts the boy in a melancholic seated pose with his elbow on a table and his head cradled in his hand. It is held in Zürich, Switzerland; the other three portraits, of different poses, are in museums in the US. The Foundation E. G. Bührle, which owns the work, notes the painting's picturesqueness, adding that "There is a perfect balance here of high compositional intelligence and spontaneous painterly intuition." In 1895, art critic Gustave Geffroy said it could stand comparison with the finest figure paintings of the Old Masters. The colors of the painting are rich and festive.
The composition is organized with three main diagonals: the angle of the boy's tilted back and head, the angle of the deep-green curtain behind the boy, the long angle of the seat and table rising from the lower left. These three angles are countered by the angles of the boy's thighs and arms, creating a articulated structure of intersecting diagonals; this painting was acquired from Cézanne by art dealer Ambroise Vollard in 1895, successively acquired by art collectors Marcell Nemes in 1909 and Gottlieb Reber in 1913. Art collector and patron Emil Georg Bührle purchased it from Beber in 1948. Following Bührle's death in 1956, his heirs donated the painting to the Foundation E. G. Bührle in 1960. In February 2008, the painting was stolen from the Foundation E. G. Bührle in Zurich, it was the museum's most valuable painting and was valued at $91 million. It was recovered in Serbia in April 2012. Catalogue entry – The Paintings of Paul Cézanne
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by small, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s; the Impressionists faced harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, soleil levant, which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari; the development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as impressionist music and impressionist literature. Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting.
They constructed their pictures from brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J. M. W. Turner, they painted realistic scenes of modern life, painted outdoors. Still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes were painted in a studio; the Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting outdoors or en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—to achieve an effect of intense colour vibration. Impressionism emerged in France at the same time that a number of other painters, including the Italian artists known as the Macchiaioli, Winslow Homer in the United States, were exploring plein-air painting; the Impressionists, developed new techniques specific to the style. Encompassing what its adherents argued was a different way of seeing, it is an art of immediacy and movement, of candid poses and compositions, of the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of colour.
The public, at first hostile came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision if the art critics and art establishment disapproved of the new style. By recreating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than delineating the details of the subject, by creating a welter of techniques and forms, Impressionism is a precursor of various painting styles, including Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Cubism. In the middle of the 19th century—a time of change, as Emperor Napoleon III rebuilt Paris and waged war—the Académie des Beaux-Arts dominated French art; the Académie was the preserver of traditional French painting standards of style. Historical subjects, religious themes, portraits were valued; the Académie preferred finished images that looked realistic when examined closely. Paintings in this style were made up of precise brush strokes blended to hide the artist's hand in the work. Colour was restrained and toned down further by the application of a golden varnish.
The Académie had an annual, juried art show, the Salon de Paris, artists whose work was displayed in the show won prizes, garnered commissions, enhanced their prestige. The standards of the juries represented the values of the Académie, represented by the works of such artists as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Alexandre Cabanel. In the early 1860s, four young painters—Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille—met while studying under the academic artist Charles Gleyre, they discovered that they shared an interest in painting landscape and contemporary life rather than historical or mythological scenes. Following a practice that had become popular by mid-century, they ventured into the countryside together to paint in the open air, but not for the purpose of making sketches to be developed into finished works in the studio, as was the usual custom. By painting in sunlight directly from nature, making bold use of the vivid synthetic pigments that had become available since the beginning of the century, they began to develop a lighter and brighter manner of painting that extended further the Realism of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school.
A favourite meeting place for the artists was the Café Guerbois on Avenue de Clichy in Paris, where the discussions were led by Édouard Manet, whom the younger artists admired. They were soon joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Armand Guillaumin. During the 1860s, the Salon jury rejected about half of the works submitted by Monet and his friends in favour of works by artists faithful to the approved style. In 1863, the Salon jury rejected Manet's The Luncheon on the Grass because it depicted a nude woman with two clothed men at a picnic. While the Salon jury accepted nudes in historical and allegorical paintings, they condemned Manet for placing a realistic nude in a contemporary setting; the jury's worded rejection of Manet's painting appalled his admirers, the unusually large number of rejected works that year perturbed many French artists. After Emperor Napoleon III saw the rejected works of 1863, he decreed that the public be allowed to judge the work themselves, the Salon des Refusés was organized.
While many viewers came only to laugh, the Salon des Refusés drew attention to the existence of a new tendency in art and attracted more visi
The Basket of Apples
The Basket of Apples is a still life oil painting by French artist Paul Cézanne. It belongs to the Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago; the piece is noted for its disjointed perspective. It has been described as a balanced composition due to its unbalanced parts. Additionally, the right side of the tabletop is not in the same plane as the left side, as if the image reflects two viewpoints. Paintings such as this helped form a bridge between Impressionism and Cubism
Mont Sainte-Victoire (Cézanne)
Mont Sainte-Victoire is a series of oil paintings by the French artist Paul Cézanne. The Montagne Sainte-Victoire is a mountain in southern France, overlooking Aix-en-Provence, it became the subject of a number of Cézanne's paintings. In these paintings, Cézanne sketched the railway bridge on the Aix-Marseille line at the Arc River Valley in the center on the right side of the picture. In Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley, he depicted a moving train on this bridge. Only half a year after the opening of the Aix-Marseille line on October 15, 1877, in a letter to Émile Zola dated April 14, 1878, Cézanne praised the Mont Sainte-Victoire, which he viewed from the train while passing through the railway bridge at Arc River Valley, as a “beau motif ”, and, in about that same year, he began the series wherein he tropicalized this mountain; these paintings belong to Post-Impressionism. Cézanne is skilled at analysis: he uses geometry to describe nature, uses different colours to represent the depth of objects.
WebMuseum: Cézanne, Paul: The Mont Sainte-Victoire and Bibemus saga Mont Sainte-Victoire Mont Sainte-Victoire
Still Life with Teapot
Still Life with Teapot is a still-life oil painting dating between 1902 and 1906, by the French artist Paul Cézanne. The subject of the painting is a table draped loosely with a patterned cloth on which lie fruit, crockery and a knife; the painting was acquired by the National Museum Wales in 1952 and is on display at the National Museum Cardiff. Cézanne began concentrating on painting still-life works from 1870 onwards inspired by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin's collection of still-life compositions that were acquired by the Louvre in 1869; as well as Chardin, Cézanne was influenced by the Dutch artists of the genre. Fruit was the central motif to much of Cézanne's still-life work, in his earlier paintings he would place the fruit separately from each other, as seen in his 1879 work Vessels and Cloth. In the 1880s he changed the structure of his compositions and his approach to the subject, developing more elaborate counterpoints between shape and textures. Still Life with Teapot was painted towards the end of Cézanne's life, thought to be between 1902 and 1906.
It was painted at his studio in Aix-en-Provence and the table on which the objects are arranged still survives at the studio. A cloth is draped over the table, arranged in elaborate but arranged folds. On the cloth is a sugar bowl and a plate on which four fruit have been placed. On an uncovered section of the table, to the right of the painting, rests a teapot, knife and a further two fruit; the strong colours of the vessels and cloth are set against a washed-out green-grey background. In her 2005 book Colour and Light, Ann Sumner describes the fruit as peaches, though in 1962, art critic David Sylvester stated, "...we don't know if they are and which of them are apples, apricots and we don't care. What we know as we look at them, know it physically in our bodies, is the feeling of having the shape of a sphere, a shape, compact...."Cézanne would change his position when painting his still-life works to concentrate on each object individually. This resulted in the perspective of his work to shift slightly.
This can be seen in Still Life with Teapot in which the plate appears to bend and the table legs to not correspond with the angle of the table top. By 1920, Still Life with Teapot had come into the ownership of the Paris-based art firm, Bernheim-Jeune, it was purchased in 1920 by Welsh philanthrapist Gwendoline Davies for the sum of £2,000, is described by the National Museum Wales as one of her finest acquisitions. When Davies died in 1952 she bequested her collection of art work to the National Museum of Wales, among them Still Life with Teapot. In 1961 the work was sent on loan to an exhibition in France. While on exhibit it was stolen, the insurance company paid out a value of £60,000 for its loss; the museum placed the monies into a Cardiff Corporation Mortgage fund, but were obliged to return the costs when the painting was recovered by police and returned to Cardiff. As of 2012 it is on view at the National Museum Cardiff in gallery 14. Sumner, Ann. Colour and Light: Fifty Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Works at the National Museum of Wales.
Cardiff: National Museum of Wales. ISBN 0-7200-0551-5