Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne is a famous French Impressionist artist who played an important role in the development of impressionism to contemporary styles such as Cubism & Fauvism. Paul Cezanne paintings are critically acclaimed and he also became perhaps the most famous still life artist in the world. Other provence based paintings in France also proved popular, and he counts some important artists amongst his biggest fans.

Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro in Paris. The initial friendship formed in the mid-1860s between Pissarro and Cézanne was that of master and mentoree, with Pissarro exerting a formative influence on the younger artist. Later this was to change as Cezanne became more confident and his talents became clear.

Amongst Cezanne’s most famous paintings was Still Life with Apples and Oranges which captured his qualities as a still life artist. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne “is the father of us all” cannot be easily dismissed.

Paul Cezanne

Photo courtesy of the Paul Cezanne Wikipedia page.

Other famous works by Cezanne included Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier, 1893–94 Forest, 1902–04. Cezanne’s legacy was extensive. After Cézanne died in 1906, his paintings were exhibited in Paris in a large scale museum-like retrospective in September 1907. The 1907 Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d’Automne greatly impacted the direction that the avant-garde in Paris took, lending credence to his position as one of the most influential artists of the 19th century and to the advent of Cubism.

Cézanne’s explorations of geometric simplification and optical phenomena inspired Picasso, Braque, Gris, and others to experiment with ever more complex multiple views of the same subject, and, eventually to the fracturing of form. Cézanne thus sparked one of the most revolutionary areas of artistic enquiry of the 20th Century, one which was to affect profoundly the development of modern art.

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