Paul Cézanne was born into a family of Italian origin in Cesana Forinese.
His father had established a felt hat business in Aix-en-Provence and later
became a banker. In 1859 he bought a country house on the outskirts of
Aix, the Jas de Bouffan, which was to be frequently represented in Cézanne’s
Between 1852 and 1859 Paul Cézanne studied at the Collège
Bourbon and it was there that he formed a friendship with Emile
, with whom he shared an interest in literature. In 1856 Cézanne
began to attend the evening drawing courses of Joseph-Marc Gibert at the
Aix Museum. From 1859 to 1861 he studied law at Aix, entered his father’s
bank. By April 1861 his father had finally yielded to Cézanne’s
desire to make a career in art and allowed him to go to Paris to study
at the Académie Suisse. In Paris Cézanne frequented the Louvre,
and, later on, Monet
. In September of the
same year he was refused admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and went
back to Aix, to the great relief of his father, who offered him a position
in his bank. But in November 1862 Paul Cézanne went back to Paris
and took up painting again.
During his so called “dark” or “romantic” period (1862-70) Paul Cézanne
often visited Paris; he met with Edouard
and the future Impressionists, and tried to be accepted at the
Salon. The Franco-Prussian War drove him to L’Estaque near Marseilles.
Paul Cézanne’s “Impressionist” period (1873-79) is connected with
his staying at Pontoise and Auvers-sur-Oise in 1872, 1873, 1874, 1877 and
1881; he worked with Pissarro
and exhibited with the Impressionists in 1874 and in 1877. The canvases
produced at L’Estaque (1880-83) and at Gardanne (1885-88) are usually referred
to Paul Cézanne’s “constructive” period. In 1886 after his father’s
death, Cézanne married Hortense Fiquet, with whom he had a secret
liaison since 1870. She is said to look after the finished canvases, which
Cézanne never took care to keep and abandoned as soon as he completed
the painting. The same year Cézanne quarelled with Zola over the
”, in which the central figure, an unsuccessful and
unbalanced painter, was identified with Cézanne.
In 1887, after a long break, Cézanne participated in the exhibition
of Les XX at Brussels. Towards the beginning of Paul Cézanne’s “synthetic”
period (1890-1906) the younger generations of artists started to take an
interest in him. His first one-man show was held in the Vollard Gallery
in 1895. During these years the artist seldom visited Paris – his longest
stays there took place in 1895, 1899 and 1904 – and produced many versions
of canvases depicting Mount Sainte-Victoire, smokers, card-players and
bathers, and painted still lifes and portraits. By 1901 Cézanne
had become recognized. He often met with young artists who admired his
work – Denis, Bonnard and Vuillard. In 1901 Denis painted Hommage à
. The future Fauvist Charles Camoin sought his advice,
and in 1904 he was visited by Emile Bernard, an artist of the Pont-Aven
school, with whom Cézanne corresponded extensively, expounding his
views on art.
In 1904 his paintings were shown for the first time at the Autumn Salon
in Paris; and a year after his death, in 1907, a retrospective exhibition
of his works was held there.
Paul Cézanne. Aurora Art Publishers. Leningrad. 1975.
Cézanne. by Mircea Toca. Editions Meridiane. Bucharest.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary.
Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.
Cezanne (Masters of Art Series) by Meyer Schapiro, Mike Cezanne
(Photographer). Harry N Abrams, 1988.
(Art & Ideas) by Mary Tompkins Lewis. Phaidon Press Inc.,
and Provence: The Painter in His Culture by Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer.
University of Chicago Press, 2003.
in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors by Carol Armstrong,
Deborah Gribbon. J. Paul Getty Trust Publications, 2004.
Garden by Derek Fell. Simon & Schuster, 2004.
Cezanne, Letters by Paul Cezanne, John Rewald Da Capo
Art by Pavel Machotka. Yale University Press,
Gogh and Friends Art Game: With Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Rousseau and
Toulouse-Lautrec by Wenda Brewster O'Reilly. Birdcage Books,