The more you know

Paul Cezanne

He was born in Aix en Provence in 1839 and died of pneumonia caught during a downpour in 1906. His father is a hat seller and, making a fortune, manages to buy the town’s bank; this will affect Cézanne’s life. His father enrolled him in law studies but he wanted to devote himself to art, so the first conflicts with his father began and they will continue forever.
During his adolescence he met and attended E. Zola, they were very friends but this was interrupted following the publication of the “Opera” (1886) which speaks of a painter who fails, Cézanne recognizes himself and identifies with this character so that he is offended and they quarrel.
Zola will say of him: “romantic gangrene sprouted in him”.
At the beginning it was a painting that was strongly influenced by the romantic influence; he will paint crimes, hangings and orgies; his colors are dark, dense and pasty given with the palette knife until Pissarro introduces him to the Impressionist circle.
In the meantime, he meets Pissarro who convinces him to devote himself to painting en plein air and introduces him to the circle of the Impressionists.
He meets the Impressionists and begins a search that will continue until his death, he will be called “the man of research”. In Paris he is introduced to the Gourbois café where he begins to discuss art with other artists; Cézanne has a very closed, quarrelsome and indecisive character; he does not bind with others even if he will recognize in Monet a great painter and teacher and will say of him: “Monet is only an eye, but my God, what an eye!” however, according to him, he saw the moment bright but forgot the shape.
The first exhibition in which he participates is in 1882 and later some of his paintings will be exhibited in the salon.
He marries the model Ortens, who will mitigate his character just as the meeting with Pissarro will change his brushstroke and his palette.
He leaves Paris because he is not in the environment and goes to Pontoise where he continues to paint en plein air until 1886 when he returns to Aix en Provence, following the death of his father, and he will be left with a huge inheritance, marries and lives longer comfortably and breaks the friendship with Zola.
While he was painting in the rain he got pneumonia, which he later died of.
He anticipates Cubism. He will say: “I want to paint nature with the cone, the cylinder and the sphere” in fact he was looking for the original shape of things, even before our mind recognizes them as such.
He does not deny the impressionist research so color-light are used as a single entity, but he does not forget the form; he begins to paint still lifes.
“Still life with apples and oranges”: light and synthesis with color even if Cézanne has a richer palette than the Impressionists, who had seven colors while he used 18.
He paints with the primary forms (cone, cylinder and sphere).
There is the multiplicity of the point of view, the objects are seen from different points, it is as if he moved while he was painting.
To give a sense of depth, he uses warm colors (which bring the viewer closer) and cold colors (which draw the viewer away).
The multiplicity of the point of view will be taken up by the Cubists in 1908, two years after his death.

Saint Victoire”: there are 60 versions, he tries to understand the form; the brush strokes are flat and wide and identify the depth called “flat depth”; the houses are represented by prisms.


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