Paul Cézanne  (French, 1839-1906) 

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) was one of the most prominent Post-Impressionist painters, and is best known for his angular, geometric works that prefigured Cubism. Born in Aix-en-Provence, France, Cézanne studied art as a youth, and later abandoned his studies in law school to join his friend and writer Emile Zola in Paris. There, Cézanne befriended Camille Pissarro (French, 1831–1903), Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), and spent the next two decades living in both Paris and southern France. Cézanne’s early paintings were exhibited in the Salon des Refusés show in 1863 and with the Impressionist circle in the early 1870s, but he was continually rejected by the academic Salon, exhibiting his work there just once, in 1882. His early paintings at this time were characterized by heavy brushstrokes and studies of the transitory effects of light.

He began living in the south of France permanently in the 1880s, experimenting with structural forms in the 1890s and 1900s. In explorations of the edges of light, shadow, and color in painting, Cézanne rendered his compositions with architectonic forms that would directly influence the work of Cubist and Fauvist artists a decade later, and significantly impact the development of Modern Art. Towards the end of his life, Cézanne received increasingly positive critical attention, and he displayed work at the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon d’Automne, and the centennial exhibition in Paris. In 1906, Cézanne died in Aix-en-Provence. His work is in the collections of the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Courtauld Gallery in London.

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Paul Cézanne, Étude d’arbres


Paul Cézanne
Étude d’arbres
circa 1871-1874

Jane Roberts Fine Arts
Paul Cézanne, Les Deux Enfants


Paul Cézanne
Les Deux Enfants

Galerie Dreyfus
Paul Cézanne, Chevaux de trait (Draft Horses after Géricault)


Paul Cézanne
Chevaux de trait (Draft Horses after Géricault)
circa 1887-1890

Richard L. Feigen & Co.
Paul Cézanne, Studies of Madame Cézanne and his son Petit Paul


Paul Cézanne
Studies of Madame Cézanne and his son Petit Paul

The Court Gallery
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Paul Cézanne, Groupe d'arbres (+ Deux bouteilles sur une table, verso)


Paul Cézanne
Groupe d'arbres (+ Deux bouteilles sur une table, verso), 1895-1900
pencil on paper


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Paul Cézanne, Autoportrait (+ Etudes pour tête de garçon (study), verso)


Paul Cézanne
Autoportrait (+ Etudes pour tête de garçon (study), verso), 1875
charcoal on paper


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Paul Cézanne, Paysage montagneux, environs d'Aix


Paul Cézanne
Paysage montagneux, environs d'Aix, 1895
watercolor and pencil on paper


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1839   Born January 19th in Aix-en-Provence, France
1852   Entered the College Bourbon
1856   Studied painting and drawing at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Aix
1858   Entered law school at the University of Aix
1874   Participated in the first exhibition of the Societe Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculteurs et Graveurs – organized by a radical group of artists inspiring the term “impressionism”
1906   Died October 22nd in Aix-en-Provence, France
2008   June 25 - Oct. 5, "The Courtauld Cezannes", The Courtauld Gallery, London
2007   March 2 - July 29, "Cézanne a Firenze", Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy
2006   Jan. 29 - May 7, "Cézanne in Provence" National Gallery of Art, US
1989   Jan. 29 - April 30, "Cézanne: The Early Years 1859-1872", National Gallery of Art, US
1946   April 11 - May 12, "Paul Cézanne: an Exhibition of Watercolours", Tate, Britain