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Paul Cézanne – Virtual Tour

Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne – Virtual Tour

Paul Cézanne (1839 – 1906) was a Post-Impressionist painter who laid the foundations in the transition from the 19th-century Impressionism to the 20th century’s Cubism.

Cézanne’s often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and recognizable. He used planes of color and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields.

Both Matisse and Picasso have remarked that Cézanne “is the father of us all.” Cézanne’s art is characterized by repetitive, exploratory small brushstrokes that build up to form complex color fields, demonstrating his intense study of his subjects.

A Virtual Tour of Paul Cézanne

A Virtual Tour of Paul Cézanne’s Masterpieces

The Card Players (Barnes Foundation)

“The Card Players” by Paul Cézanne is one in a series of five oil paintings by the French Post-Impressionist artist painted during Cézanne’s final periods in the early 1890s.

This version is the largest version and the most complex of the series. It is composed of five figures, featuring three card players at the forefront, seated at a table, with two spectators behind.

It has been speculated that Cézanne added the spectators to give depth to the painting.

There is tension in the way the various players are contrasted by color, light and shadow, the shape of hats, and the clothing all representing confrontation through opposites. Museum: The Barnes Foundation

The Card Players (Courtauld Gallery)

Cézanne’s created many preparatory works for the Card Players paintings, which indicates his commitment to this series of paintings.

Rather than posing his players as group playing cards, Cézanne made studies of them individually and only brought them together in his paintings.

Many different farm workers came to sit for him throughout this project, often smoking their clay pipes. Cézanne experimented with his compositions, striving to express the essence of these farmworkers and their traditional card game.

This project resulted in five closely related paintings of different sizes showing men seated at a rustic table playing cards. Museum: Courtauld Gallery

The Card Players (M.E.T.)

This version is composed of four figures, featuring three card players at the forefront, seated at a table, with one spectator behind.

Cézanne added the spectator and the pipes on the wall to give depth to the painting.

There is tension in the way the various players are contrasted by color, light and shadow, the shape of hats, and the clothing all representing confrontation through opposites Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art – M.E.T.

Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory

“Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory” by Paul Cézanne is an unfinished portrait of the artist’s wife. This painting shows Cézanne’s working method.

Cézanne placed the head slightly off-center, between a tree and a plant, and then proceeded to build up a pyramidal composition, brushstroke by brushstroke.

The subject, Marie-Hortense Fiquet Cézanne (1850 – 1922), was a former artist’s model who met Cézanne about 1869; they had a son in 1872, and later married.

Paul Cézanne painted 27 portraits, mostly in oil of her, and she became his most-painted model. Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art – M.E.T. and Met Breuer

Madame Cézanne

“Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress” by Paul Cézanne is a portrait of the artist’s wife wearing a shawl-collared red dress seated in a high-backed yellow chair.

Madame Cézanne is placed in a spatially complex composition, which includes a mirror over the fireplace on the left and a richly colored heavy cloth on the right.

The subject, Marie-Hortense Fiquet Cézanne (1850 – 1922), was a former artist’s model who met Cézanne about 1869; they had a son in 1872, and later married.

Paul Cézanne painted 27 portraits, mostly in oil of her, and she became his most-painted model. Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art – M.E.T.

Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair

“Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair” by Paul Cézanne is a portrait of the artist’s wife. Cézanne was a methodical and meticulous worker who required a model to pose with great patience for extended periods.

This early portrait of Madame Cézanne shows her dominating a canvas built up with many small blocks of subtly varied colored paint strokes.

Fiquet and Cézanne eventually married. However, Fiquet was to live separately from her husband for much of their married life, and they later separated.

The psychological distance between husband and wife appears to be reflected in her portraits, where Cézanne gives the impression of her being distant and self-absorbed. Museum: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Bathers (The National Gallery, London)

Bathers (Baigneuses) by Paul Cézanne is a reinterpreting of a historical tradition of painting nude figures in the landscape by famous artists such as Titian and Poussin.

Historically artists took inspiration from classical myths. Cézanne, however, was not depicting a mythological story. He was more concerned with the harmony of the figures to the landscape.

When this painting was exhibited in 1907, it became an inspiration for Picasso, Matisse, and other artists who were exploring and developing new art movements.

‘Bathers’ is reminiscent of earlier artists’ works, and comparisons can be made with more modern works such as Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Museum: The National Gallery, London

The Large Bathers (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

This painting is the largest of a series of Bather paintings created by Cézanne towards the end of his life.

With each successive version of the Bathers, Cézanne moved further away from the traditional paintings, intentionally creating artworks for an audience more interested in new forms of art.

Cézanne wanted to pave the way for future artists to disregard current trends, and he focused on painting pieces that imbued a timeless quality to his work.

The abstract nude forms are in symmetry to the triangular and rounded patterns of the trees reminiscent of landscapes and still-life paintings.

Cézanne worked on this painting for seven years, and it remained unfinished, he claimed: “I want to make of Impressionism an art as solid as that of the museums.” Museum: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Bathers by Paul Cézanne (Art Institute of Chicago)

Bathers by Paul Cézanne is a reinterpreting of a historical tradition of painting nude figures in the landscape by famous artists such as Titian and Poussin.

Historically artists took inspiration from classical myths. Cézanne, however, was not depicting a mythological story. He was more concerned with the harmony of the figures to the landscape.

When this painting was exhibited in 1907, it became an inspiration for Picasso, Matisse, and other artists who were exploring and developing new art movements. Museum: Art Institute of Chicago

“Leda and the Swan” by Paul Cézanne

“Leda and the Swan” by Paul Cézanne is one of his few mythological subjects in his body of work. It is also one of Cézanne’s more overtly sensual compositions.

 Leda is depicted with her hip curving dramatically, and her cheeks flushed red. The Swan’s beak is wrapped around her wrist.

Cézanne made at least two drawings in preparation for the painting, one of which shows the figure holding a champagne flute. Museum:  Barnes Foundation

10 Paintings of “Mont Sainte-Victoire”

Paul Cézanne created many versions of “Mont Sainte-Victoire,” depicting the magnificent view of the soaring mountain from across the valley.

Cézanne first painted Mont Sainte-Victoire in 1870, beginning his decades-long fascination with the subject.  Paul Cézanne created more than thirty paintings and watercolors of Mont Sainte-Victoire.

The peak played an important role in the ancient history of his Aix-en-Provence. Its name refers to a Roman victory in 102 BC over the Teutonic armies in the area.

Mont Sainte-Victoire is a series of paintings by Paul Cézanne, which  include:

  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – Courtauld Institute of Art
  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – Princeton University Art Museum
  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley” by Paul Cézanne  – Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • “Montagne Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – Scottish National Gallery
  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire and Château Noir” by Paul Cézanne – Artizon Museum
  • “La montagna Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – Kunsthaus Zürich
  • “Sainte-Victoire mountain seen from the Bibémus quarry” by Paul Cézanne – Baltimore Museum of Art
  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – Barnes Foundation
  • “Mont Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cézanne – The Phillips Collection

Bastide du Jas de Bouffan Series

The Bastide du Jas de Bouffan Series by Paul Cézanne depicts various views at the Bastide du Jas de Bouffan which is a historic manor house in Aix-en-Provence, France. 

The bastide was purchased by banker Louis-Auguste Cézanne, the father of famed painter Paul Cézanne, in 1859. In 1880, Paul Cézanne established a studio in the attic. After his father’s death, he lived in the manor with his mother.

Paul Cézanne created several paintings portraying the pool, gardens, and many of the available views from multiple different vantage points.

Paul Cézanne painted as series of painting of Bastide du Jas de Bouffan. Our Virtual Tour includes:

Paul Cézanne

A Tour of Artists

Women in the Arts

Paul Cézanne Quotes

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“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.”

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“Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relations of two tones.”

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“Painting from nature is not copying the object; it realizes one’s sensations.”

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“For an Impressionist to paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations.”

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“The world doesn’t understand me, and I don’t understand the world, that’s why I’ve withdrawn from it.”

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“Don’t be an art critic. Paint. There lies salvation.”

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“The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself.”

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“Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience.”

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“When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made an object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.”

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“With an apple, I will astonish Paris.”

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“Keep good company – that is, go to the Louvre.”

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“An art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t an art at all.”

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“We live in a rainbow of chaos.”

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“I am old and ill, and I have sworn to die painting.”

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“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.”

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“I must be more sensible and realize that at my age, illusions are hardly permitted, and they will always destroy me.”

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“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.”

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Paul Cezanne Understanding Modern Art

Paul Cezanne: A collection of 645 works

Paul Cezanne: 6 Minute Art History Video

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“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.”
– Paul Cézanne

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Photo Credit: Paul Cézanne [Public domain]

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