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  • Russ Ramsey

Getting to know Paul Cézanne

For this Art Wednesday we’ll look at the life and work of French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. Cézanne’s work served as a bridge between the Impressionism of the 1880’s and the Cubism of the early 1900’s.

Cézanne, Self Portrait in a Bowler Hat, 1885-86


Cézanne’s early work was influenced by the Romantics and Impressionists, but he worked to develop a visual language all his own, departing from the rules of perspective, seen here in the disproportion of the boy’s arms.

Cézanne, The Boy in the Red Vest, 1889


Critics ridiculed Cézanne’s work until Pissarro and art dealer Ambroise Vollard took notice of it and began buying it up. Matisse and Picasso would later say that Cézanne was “the father of us all.”

Cézanne, La Carrière de Bibémus, 1895


Many artists rise to renown when they play a role in some sort of monumental shift in an art form. Elvis and the Beatles aren’t celebrated just for their catalogs, but for their roles in the advent of rock and roll.

Cézanne, The Gardner Vallier, 1906


Cézanne worked with Gauguin, Pissarro, Renior, and Monet in France, and was friends with Emile Zola, the poet who helped establish The Impressionists as a force to be reckoned with on the Paris art scene.

Cézanne, Still Life with Skull, 1898


Later in his life, Cézanne became preoccupied with his mortality, a frequent subject of his turn-of-the-century paintings. He worked in solitude, and said, “For me, life has begun to be deathly monotonous”

Cézanne, Pyramid of Skulls, c. 1901


Monet said, “Yes! Cézanne. He is the greatest of us all!” Concerning his work, Pissarro said, “I think it will be centuries before we get an account of it.” Picasso called him “my one and only master.” That was Cézanne to other artists.

Cézanne, Montagne Sainte-Victoire, 1904


Thanks for following along today as we’ve gotten to know Paul Cézanne a bit.

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