Paul Cezanne




A Brief on Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence, a small town south of France. As a young boy, Cézanne’s passions lay in his poetry and his friends, including Emile Zola (Preble 402). Cézanne is included in the time of the Post-Impressionists. Cézanne wanted “to make Impressionism into something solid and enduring like the art of museums” (Preble 401).
Cézanne did not have a typical, (as I define as friendly), relationship with his father. Cézanne had some problems with his father. Cézanne’s father wanted for Cézanne to be a lawyer. His father had sent him to a college for lawyers but Cézanne was coaxed otherwise by his friend Zola her moved to Paris (Preble 402). Cézanne’s father had bought the Jas de Bouffan, which would be the place that Cézanne did many of his works (Rewald 21). The Jas de Bouffan would be their residence for over a half a century. In one of Cézanne’s paintings of their residence he omits people and animals that, like in most of his paintings, would disrupt the unchanging features of the scene (Murphy 150). Cézanne’s father was always in a struggle with his son. His father was one that could not comprehend anyone being able to be successful in anything that did not make him or her rich. One thing that his father had to be able to recognize was that his son had determination, but his father was utterly blind in seeing his son’s talent (Rewald 35). When Cézanne’s father died, Cézanne spoke of him as a genius for leaving him an income of 25,000 francs (Murphy 123).
Cézanne married his 12-year affair Hortense Fiquet. A few months after their marriage, Cézanne’s father died. Hortense was not welcome at the Jas de Bouffan by Cézanne’s mother and sister. People say that his mother and sister banned her from the house and they were in a rage of giving her too much money (Murphy 117). Cézanne’s sister, Marie, was the one that encouraged the marriage, even though she disliked Hortense, in hope that in would lift the spirits of her brother. Hortense and Cézanne did not along very well (Rewald 125). Even after their marriage, Cézanne had no thought about living the Jas or his other and sister. Cézanne thought that 16,000 francs, which were her share, was all that she needed (Rewald 125).
Emile Zola was Paul’s best friend. Cézanne and Zola were attracted by their shared interest in literary movements and artists. Zola and Cézanne played an important role in each other’s life with Zola helping start Cézanne’s art career and Cézanne helping Zola to start thinking about pictorial art (Murphy 14). Cézanne at one point thought he could write and some of his works are found in his letters to Zola:
Dark, thick unwelcome mist covers me up;
The sun withdraws its last handful of diamonds (Murphy 14).
Zola was a very important person on telling the history of Cézanne. However, their friendship had its rocky times and its breakup by Zola. Zola can recall the complete disorder of Cézanne’s studio (Rewald 62). Zola tells us how Cézanne rarely swept the interior of his studio for fear that the dust would disrupt his works.
Cézanne based his work on the observation of nature and used separate strokes that were visible to make rich surfaces (Preble 400). Cézanne tried counting on the connection between adjacent strokes of color to show the entirety of the form and the space decreasing. In Cézanne’s The Saint Victoire from Bellevue we can see how Cézanne uses this technique to show space and depth from a flat plane. Cézanne likes to make alterations on nature and enlarge the mountain; Cézanne also makes spatiality more clear and distinct than the actual photographs of the motifs (Loran 125). Cézanne seemed to be obsessed by this mountain and somewhat exaggerated the size of it in every one of his paintings (Murphy 154). In another view of this, entitled Mont Saint-Victoire, Cézanne uses the tree to show height by extending it the entire length of the canvas. Cézanne utilizes color contrasts to show depth playing with cool and warm color shifts (Schapiro 66). Cézanne painted this scene at least 60 times from every possible angle.
Cézanne had a very distinct style of painting. To move out of