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Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne, a French painter in the post-impressionist era, was born on January 19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence to a wealthy family of banker (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). Together with Emile Zola, who became a novelist, Cezanne developed his passion for the arts at a very young age despite of the disapproval of his father. After a difficult contention with his family, Cezanne was given a meager budget for his art studies in Paris in 1862 (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery).

He made a historical landmark in the world art by leading the innovations on art perspectives from 19th century to a new artistic perception in the 20th century through his works (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). As such, he made refinements on the perspectives of the impressionist to lay down the foundations of cubism, the 20th century artistic endeavor (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). As well, he is considered as the father of modern art because of his excellent synthesis of personal and naturalistic symbolisms, and abstract representation.

At the early stage of his studies, he greatly admired the works of Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, and Endouard Manet along with the radical elements which were considered as notorious and vulgar subjects in the Parisian arts during that era (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). Eventually, he acquired skills in the representation of contemporary life in his works by means of his intensive observation in the absence of stylistic affection or thematic conceptualization.

Furthermore, Cezanne, at his neophyte stage, was inspired by the works of Camille Pissarro, a non-prominent painter in a suburb area of Paris (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). On the other hand, in the company of other artists like Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, Pissarro perfected the painting technique of outdoor works in a fast and reduced scale, without any preparatory outlines, with the application of pure colors. Hence, with the expertise of Pissarro in 1872-1873, Cezanne has shifted from dark hues to colorful tones and became interested on rural and farmland sceneries (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery).

Pissarro introduced the new style of the impressionists and propelled him for further perfection of skills. Meanwhile, Cezanne’s paintings illuminated his ingenuity in draftsmanship, color, design, and composition (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). His application of a unique brushstroke technique in a sensitive, exploratory, and repetitive manner made him a painting style identity. He always used to represent his subjects with a dogged struggle and a searching gaze to emphasize the complexity of visual perception.

Cezanne’s brushstrokes in creating plane of color to represent complex fields projected his in-depth observation on and abstraction of nature. Even though in 1874 and 1877 Cezanne was given a chance to exhibit with the impressionists, his works received the worst comments from the viewing public (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). Hence, he chose to go back in his natal town and isolated himself from the Parisian artists including Pissarro. He found himself in one of the character in the novel of his childhood friend, Emile Zola.

In connection to this, he destroyed some of his paintings while the others were left unfinished. Cezanne blamed his failure to his works on human figure representation which were criticized for image distortion and color modulation. At the age of 47, in 1886, he attained financial stability by inheriting the wealth of his family amidst the bitterness brought by harsh experience in his passion (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). In the end, his figural works were magnificently gained admiration form the younger generation of artists.

Finally, an art dealer in 1895, Ambroise Vollard, successfully sponsored an art exhibit featuring all art works of Cezanne (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). At the time of his death, in 1904, Cezanne once again became a major artist in a large art exhibit that eventually gave him the status of a magnificent artist (Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery). Artistic Styles and Painting Techniques Paul Cezanne showed dark and imaginary subjects in violent expressions (“Paul Cezanne”). He arose under impressionism influence and exhibited with the impressionists in 1874 and 1877 (“Paul Cezanne”).

However, unlike the impressionists, he illustrated structure and solidity in his works in the belief that color and form are inseparable. For this reason, he became known as a post-impressionist and exerted influence on the young artists in the late years of his career. Although, until his death, Paris Salon hardly recognized his ingenuity, young artists absorbed his ideas, thus, deemed as the forerunner of the arts in the 20th century (“Paul Cezanne”). In 1877, Cezanne left the impressionists and returned to Aix-en-Provence to further make innovations on the ideas of impressionism (Huyghe).

He intended to present figures, objects, and sceneries by restoring solidity and applying new classical spirits (Huyghe). Thus, he incorporated color and dimension in his works through rigorous analysis and stripping-off superfluous characteristics. Also, he represented his views on his subjects through cones, cylinders, and spheres (Huyghe). To represent forms, he depicted depth and solidity by means of the impressionists’ technique (Huyghe). Cezanne has an eye on the analysis on the elemental attributes of a given object, thus, behest in the removal of the unnecessary elements.

In the belief that every object is created based on cylindrical, spherical, and conical geometrical shapes, he gave importance on the simple forms behind the alluring appearances of his subjects (Huyghe). Furthermore, he believed on the permanent and essential role of the sense of space and composition in every art work (Huyghe). With respect to the classical tradition, he re-invented the art of the impressionists by enriching its balance in the new perspectives (Huyghe). Around 1870s to 1890s, Cezanne has fully developed his innovative style of painting (Huyghe).

His landscapes paintings within this period like “The Sea at L’Estaque” are considered as the products of his mature style (Huyghe). He created prismatic effect in his landscapes works through calm and grand horizontals accentuated in up-and-down strokes with a blue sea color all over the canvasses. In addition, the elements of flat design and deep space are all given emphasis in his landscapes works (Huyghe). This technique has inspired young artists in both Brittany and Paris, and was illuminated in the works of Cubists in the 20th century (Huyghe). Great Works and Contributions

Cezanne’s unique style was also illuminated in his best known works such as ”Madame Cezanne in a Yellow Armchair”, “Woman with a Coffee-Pot”, and “The Card Players” (Huyghe). Nonetheless, he also applied his unique type of portrayal on his more than 200 still life paintings. In his still life, he depicted his subjects like architectural objects through simplicity of form and color intensity. Aside from inspiration brought by the picturesque nature, Cezanne was also propelled by the desire of intellectual search for a new perspective of representation (Huyghe).

Even though he admired the works of early painters, he denounced the style of Romantics, Old masters, as well as the impressionists in representation (Huyghe). Even though the public has just acknowledged the works of Cezanne in the late years of his career, his patience and perseverance in unraveling the genuine beauty of any object of arts through its composition and formal structure have made a great impact on the minds of the young artists. His works have attracted young artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Kazimir Malevich, Pablo Picasso, and Pierrie Bonnard (Huyghe).

In fact in 1907, as Cezanne had a well-acclaimed exhibit at Salon d’Automne in Paris, Picasso as inspired by “The Bathers”, created “Demoiselles d’Avignon” (Huyghe). Similarly, Maurice Dennis named one of his works, “Homage to Cezanne”, in tribute to Cezanne (Huyghe). Meanwhile, Cezanne produced several paintings with the theme of bathers which reflect his avid interest on this theme. The Derain’s “Bathers” and Matisse’s “Blue Nude” were products of admiration to Cezanne.

Moreover, the ideas and artistic techniques of Cezanne have laid the foundation for both cubist and fauvism artists (Huyghe). Works Cited Huyghe, R.. “A Crisis of Tradition and the Birth of Contemporary Art. ” n. d. History of Civilization and Culture. 12 April 2009 <http://www. all-art. org/history504. html> “Paul Cezanne. ” Post-Impressionism. n. d. History of Civilization and Culture, A World Art History. 12 April 2009 <http://www. all-art. org/impressionism/cezanne1. html> Paul Cezanne Virtual Gallery. “Biography. ” n. d. 12 April 2009 <http://www. paul-cezanne. org/biography. html>

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