Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work was crucial in the development of modern art. He was born in Aix-en-Provence, France, to a wealthy family. His father was a successful banker, and his mother was a homemaker. Despite his family's expectations for him to follow in his father's footsteps, Cézanne had a passion for art from a young age.
As a child, Cézanne was quiet and introspective, and he struggled to fit in with his peers. He was sent to boarding school in Aix-en-Provence, where he was introduced to the works of classical artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian. These artists would later influence his own work.
In 1861, Cézanne met Hortense Fiquet, a model who would become his lifelong companion and the mother of his only child, Paul. Despite the disapproval of his parents, Cézanne continued his relationship with Hortense and eventually married her in 1886.
Cézanne's early career was marked by struggle and rejection. He was rejected from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and his work was consistently rejected by the official Salon. It was not until the 1870s that he began to receive recognition for his work.
Cézanne worked in a number of different locations throughout his career, including Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and the south of France. He was influenced by a number of artists, including Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir, as well as the Post-Impressionists Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Cézanne's technique was characterized by his use of color and his unique approach to composition. He often painted the same scene multiple times, experimenting with different colors and compositions until he found the perfect balance. He was also known for his use of thick, bold brushstrokes and his tendency to break down objects into their component parts, paving the way for the development of Cubism.
Cézanne's work had a significant impact on the development of modern art. His unique approach to composition and his use of color influenced many artists who came after him, including Picasso and Matisse.
Here are five of Cézanne's most important paintings:
Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-1904) - This painting depicts the mountain that loomed over Cézanne's hometown of Aix-en-Provence. It is a stunning example of his use of color and his ability to capture the essence of a place.
The Card Players (1890-1895) - This series of paintings depicts working-class men playing cards in a tavern. The paintings are notable for their use of space and their ability to capture the moment.
Still Life with Apples (c. 1895) - This painting is a classic example of Cézanne's still life work. It features a simple composition of apples on a table, but the use of color and brushstrokes creates a dynamic and engaging image.
The Bathers (1898-1905) - This series of paintings depicts nude bathers in a landscape setting. The paintings are notable for their use of color and light, as well as their emphasis on the human form.
The Large Bathers (1906) - This painting is a culmination of Cézanne's work on the theme of bathers. It features a large, complex composition of nude figures in a landscape setting. The painting is notable for its use of color and light, as well as its emphasis on form and structure.