Paul Cézanne - An Artistic Biography of the Famous Post-impressionist
Paul Cézanne was a famous French painter who lived from 1839 to 1906. He was born in Aix-en-Provence and died in Paris.
The French artist Paul Cézanne was one of the most prominent artists during the post-impressionist era and was greatly respected for his contributions to the art world. Paul Cézanne's paintings are considered an essential foundation in aesthetic and intellectual rise that changed the tide of traditional artwork in the art period before his own.
Today, Paul Cézanne is known as one of the greatest French painters since Pablo Picasso and Georges Seurat. Many "Late Period" paintings by Cézanne are found in significant museum collections worldwide and almost any major city with an extensive art collection. Cézanne painted numerous works that contributed to art history. His work has impacted the art styles of other influential artists that followed him in the modern art world. The type of success that Cézanne achieved is unparalleled.
Summary of Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was an influential French artist of the Post-impressionist era widely praised for painting what he felt versus what he saw. This approach to art was sacrilegious and went against the standard conventions of the time. Usually, people who go against the traditional way of doing things and invent new approaches go through a struggle with their peers.
This struggle for acceptance was no different for Paul Cézanne. In retrospect, art history will look fondly on the works and contributions of Paul Cézanne. Cézanne was considered one of the most influential artists of his time. His artistic endeavour would lead to some great artworks like Mont Sainte-Victoire, which he painted in 1900.
Paul Cézanne painted artwork represents the fundamental nature of Post-impressionism. The artist did a lot of preparation prior to even starting to paint. This technique is evident in his still life paintings. He would study the subject for hours to capture the essence of its beauty. Then Paul Cezanne would paint with his heart. His still life paintings would tell an art story to all who saw them in person. The art story would be different for everyone.
The early life of Paul Cézanne
January 19, 1839, was a special day for Louis Auguste Cézanne and Anne Elisabeth Honorine Aubert. On this day, they celebrated the birth of their son, Paul Cézanne. The proud father had high hopes for his son. He had an heir that he hoped would one day follow in his footsteps as a successful lawyer to run a bank he cofounded.
The desire of a father to have his son be stable would be challenged by his son's passion for using oil on canvas and creating art.
When Paul Cézanne was older, he attended the Free Municipal School of Drawing in Aix. A Spanish monk, Joseph Gibert, was his teacher at the art school. Joseph Gibert inspired Paul Cézanne to pursue his passion for art.
The father was not happy with Paul Cézanne's earnest attempt to pursue art full time. So, Cézanne attended law school at the University of Aix to appease his father's wishes.
He attended law school from 1858 to 1861. Paul Cézanne realized that law school was not for him and decided to focus solely on art. This decision made his father furious. This action caused serious friction in their relationship. Eventually, they did reconcile when the father could no longer deny his son's extraordinary artistic talents. He would support his son financially so he could become an artist.
Struggling to become an artist
His father, Louis Auguste Cézanne, was one of the founders of an established bank granting Paul Cézanne financial security unavailable to many other artists. The financial security allowed Paul Cezanne to get an education from the Collège Bourbon that he attended in 1852.
His childhood friend, Emile Zola, played a pivotal role in the French artist's life. The pair often discussed and dreamed of having a successful career in Paris. Paul Cezanne wanted to be a painter, and Zola wanted to be a writer.
Who would have known that their hard work and dreams would lead them both to great achievement in their professional lives? Emile Zola would be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature twice, in 1901 and 1902. Paul Cezanne's artwork would help create a new art movement, Post-Impressionism.
In 1859, the Cézanne family moved to Aix-en-Provence, where his father's bank had branch offices. Between 1861 and 1863, he began pursuing a career as an artist. In 1862 he made his first trip abroad, visiting Italy and Spain. He then returned to live in Paris. Around 1868, Zola introduced him to fellow painter Édouard Manet, who became a friend and mentor. In 1869, Cézanne was introduced to Camille Pissarro by Zola. The two developed a lasting friendship and often painted en Plein air (outside).
Cézanne and Impressionism
After graduating, Paul Cezanne moved in 1871 to the town of Pontoise and spent two years working with Pissarro. During his time, Cézanne realized a need for painting in nature. These changes were the cause of Cézanne's fading of religious and romantic themes from her paintings. Moreover, his somber, dark palette gave way to brighter, fresh colors. Césanne decided to take part in an exhibition at the inaugural "Société Anonyme des artistes, peintres, sculpteurs and graveurs" in 1874.
The following year he developed his new style that incorporated elements of Pointillism. In 1877, the "Salon des Refusés" (Exhibition of Rejected Artists) was held in Paris, and Cézanne's painting "Bathers at Asnières" (1876), which he submitted, was rejected. His rejection from the Salon marks the end of the Impressionists' dominance of the French art world.
The Legacy of Paul Cézanne's Art Style
The paintings of Cézanne remained in the hands of Impressionist artists despite the criticism of critics. Even though his younger age, his artwork has been considered masterworks by those who visit Cézanne's Aix studio. Cézanne's artistic work influenced Matisse and other artists as a precursor of Expressionism and Fauvism, a feeling of urgency. Cézanne was regarded as a 'very influential' artist. He told us the color of something changes the structure of the thing.
He is considered to have had a significant influence on 20th-century art but was only appreciated by others in his lifetime. His paintings are known for their "primitivism," but some critics argue that he does not fit into any stylistic groupings such as Post-Impressionism or Surrealism. In contrast to his early Impressionist paintings, Cézanne's later work in the 1890s demonstrates a development in subject matter and style. This is often referred to as the "second phase" of his career. In this phase, he began painting landscapes with irregular patches of color, using diagonal lines and contours that are less angular than in earlier works. He also adopted an individual style of painting, including elongated and disembodied limbs, that some have seen as a forerunner of Surrealism. A significant influence on 20th-century art, Cézanne is considered by many to be the father of modern painting.
Works of the 1860s
The Cézanne painting from 1860 was unusual in its lack of a clear connection with his older, recognizable style. His technique in these paintings is romantic, sometimes intensely passionate. For his "Man of Blue Caps" 1865 – 1866, he used a palette knife for applying paint on the surface, which had a density of impasto and a wide tonal range. The Cézanne style of painting was characterized by boldly applied colors with thick impasto paint, broad application of paint, and the use of a palette knife rather than a brush. He used multiple colors at once in many layers and created swirls, spirals, and dots with his fingers to add extra texture to his paintings. "Man of Blue Caps," 1865–1866, was one of the first paintings he created with his newly developed technique. The artwork is split into two vertical panels and is "a moment captured in time – the direct result of Cézanne's revolutionary pictorial method."
The various periods of Paul Cézanne's paintings
Cézanne's art had many modifications in style and influenced many artists throughout history. Art historians define several different times in the art of Cezanne. We should explore this period more closely. Cezanne's early art has been said to be based on color, light, and the order of nature. Cézanne was a painter of landscapes, sea-views, and interior scenes in his early period. He favored 'true painting' over academic rules of composition and application. The influence of Dutch painters became apparent during this period because he was familiar with the use of broad and textured brushstrokes.
As we rise to the next period, Cézanne began to explore a more expressive and personal painting style. He mixed paint on partially finished canvases in a less predictable pattern than before. In one painting, he would use green followed by red, blue, white, and black in different parts of the canvas. In his later period, Cézanne's style became more personal and expressive; he explored new directions in painting and modified old ones. He would paint a shape with a subject included in it, then paint the same shape without the subject. The colors used in his work were intense and less reliant on pigment than ever before. His brushstrokes varied in speed and size, often leaving a granular consistency.
The Impressionist movement is characterized by loose brushwork and quick, broad strokes of intense color; this painting style was adopted by the Postimpressionist movement to capture the effects of light on moving objects. Art theorist Arthur C. Danto wrote that "Cézanne invented Impressionism." Cézanne is considered the father of Cubism and a major figure in the transition from Impressionism to post-impressionism. His stylistic accomplishments were parallel with increasing dissatisfaction with the subject of painting and recognition of a new pictorial dimension. Before Cézanne, most arts depicted objects from one viewpoint; Cézanne's work brought the viewer into a world of overlapping planes and a dynamic view known as "Cézanne's cube."
He has been called a "painter ahead of his time" and the "painter of modern life." The Postimpressionist movement, which Cézanne helped to found, is characterized by new subject matter, dramatic use of color, and a significant departure from realism. The journeyman painter's search marked Cézanne's life for an alternative style to reflect his ideas about art. His artistic practice was characterized by a lifelong effort to integrate "the tangible world with the ideal world." He strove to synthesize painting and science, and in doing so, he revolutionized the way artists thought about the world and oil painting.
The Césanians lived in Provence from 1880 to 1880 and remained there until their deaths, with a few exceptions for occasional holidays out of town. The move shows new freedoms from impressionists headquartered here and a strong predisposition for south Cezanne. His brother, Hortense, owns a house at L'Estaque that offers a panoramic view of the Saint-Victoire. In the "constructionist periods," paintings depict this peak from 1881 to 1882 and Gardanne from 1885 to 1885. The year 1886 marked one of the pivotal moments in our family's life history. Hortense became the wife of Cezanne. Madame Cézenne a yellow chair (1887 – 1901) by Paul Césanne.
After the French Franco-Prussian war started in July 1870, Paul Cézanne fled Paris for L'estaque, where he focused on the landscape. Initially declared draft-evader by Parliament, the war ended the following month in February 1870, and the couple returned in the summer of 1871 to Paris. They moved to Auvers in early 1870. Cézanne's mother was prevented from a family gathering, but his father was kept secret from Hortense because they wanted to provoke his anger.
His father paid him a monthly ten thousand dollars. Pisaro and Cézanne made landscapes with the help of François Auvers. In 1873 Cézanne made a trip to Italy, during which he painted one of his most famous works, "The Card Players." After returning to Paris in 1874 and finding success with his paintings, Cézanne began to work in oils instead of watercolors. Cézanne also became a renowned art critic during this time. In the late 1870s, he met and became friends with Émile Zola. Cézanne taught Zola how to paint in oils and Vincent van Gogh.
In 1881, Cézanne's father died and left him a large inheritance. He decided to use his inheritance to travel throughout Europe, searching for new subjects for his paintings. He spent time in Venice, Rome, Paris, London, and Amsterdam before returning to Aix-en-Provence again in 1883. In 1886 he developed the technique of painting en Plein air, or directly to the ground with paint on damp newspaper.
The dark period
The Salon des Refusées was established by Napoleon III in 1865 on orders from the Council, and the exhibition of artworks refused to be displayed by the Academy des Beaux-Arts. Young Impressionists regarded as subversive at that time remained among the painter whose works have subsequently been ruled invalid. Cézanne impacted his appearance, but his relationships with them amounted essentially to apathetic — he looked unhappy and depressed, bashful and irritated. These days, his painting is characterized by gloomy colors and the disproportionate use of black.
Cezanne's peaceful moments in Jas de bouffan were temporary. From the early 20th century until his death, his paintings grew darker and more distorted throughout his life. His work was well received and gained the admiration of an emerging generation of artists. His problems began with diabetes in 1890, and his relationships with others had again become depressed. He was on holiday and probably expected Hortense to be happy about it. Cézanne stayed in the countryside in Marseille while Hortense and Paul Junior remained in Paris.
He sent letters to Hortense, but he became angrier and angrier when she didn't respond. After the birth of her second son in 1891, Hortense was ill most of the time and could not give Cezanne much attention. Her correspondence with Rodin indicates that Paul Junior was also difficult to care for, and she was constantly worried about him. When Cezanne died in 1903, his widow received nothing from him, and she died in poverty the following year. Cezanne was in a state of emotional and financial turmoil from when he met Hortense until his death. They had a tumultuous relationship that ended in tragedy.