Monday, December 26, 2011

Cezanne, Paul

The Garden at Les Lauves
(possibly from Cezanne's estate in Aix-en-Provence)
c. 1906
Oil on canvas
65.4 x 80.9 cm (25 3/4 x 31 7/8 in)
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Cezanne, Paul (1839 - 1906), French painter, one of the greatest of the Postimpressionists, whose works and ideas were influential in the aesthetic development of many 20th-century artists and art movements, especially Cubism. His art grew out of Impressionism and eventually challenged all the conventional values of painting in the 19th century through its insistence on personal expression and on the integrity of the painting itself. He has been called the father of modern painting.

He has given an impulse directly or indirectly to almost every new movement since he died. He realized with equal fullness so many different sides of his art and had a power to excite artists of different tendency and temperament.

In Cezanne we are struck rather by the comprehensive character of his art, although later artists have built on a particular element of his style. In his pictures single patches of the brush reveal themselves as an uncanny choice, deciding the unity of a whole region of forms. His painting is a balanced art, not in the sense that it is stabilized or moderate in its effects, but that opposed qualities are joined in a scrupulously controlled play. He is inventive and perfect in many different aspects of his art.