Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paul Cezanne

Known as the father of Modern painting, French Paint Paul Cezanne helped establish Impression and influenced the beginning of the cubism movement. Born on January 19th, 1839, in Provence, France, Cezanne had a prosperous childhood. His father was the cofounder of a successful bank firm, allowing Cezanne to attend Sain Joseph school. Here, he studied drawing under a Spanish monk. Going against his father’s wishes, Cezanne decided to leave for Paris to pursue his passion for art. Cezanne met Camille Pissarro in Paris, a fellow impressionist. Pissarro began to play the role of Cezanne’s mentor, directing Cezanne on color choice and brushstroke technique. Pissarro influenced Cezanne’s use of lighter colors and short brushstrokes. Much of Cezanne’s early work began as landscapes, however as his career developed, Cezanne’s light, loose painting style became his trademark. Cezanne saw nature as geometeric shapes, thus influencing the Cubist movement.. I chose to write about Cezanne as his impressionistic style has drawn my attention. His use of geometric, succinct style while still maintaining a impressionistic atmosphere is remarkable. As an engineer with an interest in art, I found this style fascinating.

“Quarry and Mont Sainte-Victoire”, created in 1898-1900 is an oil painting by Cezanne. The leaves are noted to not be singular leaves, but rather short strokes of shades of green. The rocks of the quarry, however, are distinct, formed shapes, catering towards Cezanne’s unique style. The loose lines add to the fluid, yet defined, image Cezanne portrays.

This painting, "Chocquet Seated", was painted in 1877 by Cezanne. Again, the dominance of geometric shapes is prevalent throughout the painting. Also on oil and canvas, this painting has a darker, richer palette than the previous painting, showing the importance of variation and color use in Cezanne’s

work. The loose lines in the character’s face and general area are characteristic of Cezanne’s work.

"Gardanne", painted in 1885, is strikingly geometric. The lush green and foliage surrounding the building are present, however Cezanne’s rendition of the architecture is captivating. Here, Cezanne appears to be dabbing away from the typical style of impressionism and creating his own. The loose lines of nature and strict, geometric accuracy of the architecture are characteristic of Cezanne.


Dunlop, Ian. Orienti, Sandra. The Complete Paintings of Cezanne. Wallop, Hampshire, 1970.

Romano, Eileen. Cezanne. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, 2005.

Paul Cezanne. 7 October 2009.

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