National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: Paul Cézanne

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image of The Artist's Father, Reading image of Houses in Provence: The Riaux Valley near L'Estaque image of Boy in a Red Waistcoat
1 2 3
image of Château Noir image of Still Life with Apples and Peaches image of The Gardener Vallier
4 5 6
« back to French painting of the 19th century


How should we look at Cézanne? Pablo Picasso regarded him as a "mother hovering over," Henri Matisse as "father to us all." Inevitably, our understanding of Cézanne's painting is colored by later cubism and abstraction, focusing attention on the formal aspects of his work. His reduction of the visible world into basic, underlying shapes, the faceted brushstrokes that seem to reconstruct nature through purely painterly forms, the fracture and flattening of space—all these can be seen as the beginnings of modern art. Yet Cézanne himself stressed that he painted from nature and according to his sensations, seeking to realize a "harmony parallel to nature."



1Paul Cézanne, The Artist's Father, Reading "L'Événement", 1866
2Paul Cézanne, Houses in Provence: The Riaux Valley near L'Estaque, c. 1883
3Paul Cézanne, Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-1890
4Paul Cézanne, Château Noir, 1900/1904
5Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples and Peaches, c. 1905
6Paul Cézanne, The Gardener Vallier, 1906