image: Cezanne in Provence image: National Gallery of Art image: Cezanne in Provence

A ProvenÇal Chronology of CÉzanne: 1860–1869

1860
February
Cézanne does not register at the law school. He wants to go to Paris to learn to paint. This plan is thwarted by Gibert, his drawing teacher, who opposes his departure.
 
May
Cézanne’s father stipulates that the trip to Paris will be contingent upon his continuing to study law.
 
May 28
In the military draft lottery on February 24 Cézanne comes up no. 49; the medical examiners declare him "fit for service," but he is released from obligations. Military archives list his profession as "law student."
 
June–July
He becomes deeply discouraged. Zola chides him for his passivity and encourages him to devote himself to painting.
 
October
Zola plans to establish an "artistic society" in Paris with Cézanne, Baille, and Georges Pajot, a fellow student, in order "to form a powerful union for the future, to provide mutual support, whatever positions might await us." The census indicates that Cézanne is still living with his family in Aix-en-Provence. He is registered as a legal clerk.
1861
April–July
Cézanne in Paris. Despite the continuing disapproval of Gibert, his teacher at the drawing school, Cézanne leaves Aix for Paris in April and remains there until September. Louis-Auguste Cézanne accompanies his son to Paris, where he remains for a time. Cézanne meets Camille Pissarro.
 
September
Probably after failing to qualify for a place at the École des Beaux-Arts, Cézanne returns to Aix, where he works in his father’s bank. Zola writes:
 
"Cézanne, the banker, can’t see;
without a quake
The birth of a future painter at the
back of his bank"
(Cézanne, le banquier, ne voit pas
sans fremir
Derrière son comptoir naître un
peintre à venir).
1862
Cézanne registers once more at the drawing school in Aix, where he draws after the live model.
 
summer
He works in the Aix countryside with his childhood friend, Numa Coste, who "accompanies [him] every morning to the landscape and saturates him with a thousand affronts of various kinds that he multiplies every minute." He begins a painting depicting a view of the dam built by Zola’s father.
 
early November 1862–June 1863
Cézanne returns to Paris, where his father comes to visit him on January 13, 1864.
1863
He exhibits at the Salon des Refusés.
1864
July
Cézanne returns to Aix.
 
August
First mention of a sojourn in L’Estaque by Cézanne.
1865
March 15–fall
Cézanne is in Paris. His first known letter to Pissarro, dated March 15.
 
winter
Cézanne is in Aix. In the postscript to a letter from Antoine-Fortuné Marion to Heinrich Morstatt, a musician passionately fond of Wagner, he invites Morstatt, who is in Marseille, to come to Aix and play Wagner over the Christmas holidays.
 
1866
mid-February
Cézanne leaves Aix for Paris.
 
mid-August
Cézanne is back in Aix. He takes walks in the countryside with Marion and their friend Antony Valabrègue. A poem dedicated to Paul Cézanne appears in L’Écho des Bouches-du-Rhone, an Aix newspaper. During the month of August he works on the first version of a painting inspired by Wagner, Young Girl at the Piano: Overture to "Tannhäuser" (present location unknown).
 
mid-October
Cézanne works on a portrait of his sister Rose, and on some landscapes, despite rainy weather, although "all pictures done inside, in the studio, will never be as good as things done in the open air." At the invitation of his former teacher Gibert, he and his friends Baille, Marion, and Valabrègue visit the collection of old masters recently bequeathed to the Musée d’Aix.
 
October 23
Cézanne is in conflict with his family, "the nastiest people in the world, and irritating beyond measure."
 
November 2
The painter Antoine Guillemet describes Cézanne in very positive terms: "His physique has become rather more handsome, his hair is long, his figure exudes health, and his very dress causes a sensation on the Cours [Mirabeau]." The inhabitants of Aix begin to show interest in Cézanne’s painting, and Guillemet predicts a future "in which he’ll be offered the directorship of the museum."
1867
February–end of May
Cézanne is in Paris and "dreams of immense paintings."
 
early June
Cézanne, who has spent a portion of the winter and spring in Paris, returns to Aix with his mother, who had probably come to visit the Exposition Universelle (World's Fair). He works on "some truly beautiful portraits; no longer [executed] with the palette knife, but just as vigorous." He hopes to return to Paris for a week in mid-August to view once more the private Manet and Courbet exhibitions in the company of Marion. In the end, the plan does not work out, and Marion goes to Paris alone. Cézanne works on some large canvases. He begins a second version of Young Girl at the Piano: Overture to "Tannhäuser" in a lighter palette.
1868
January 26
Cézanne attends a concert in Paris, where he hears the overtures to Wagner's operas The Flying Dutchman (January 26) and Tannhäuser (February 23) as well as the prelude to Lohengrin (April 19).
 
February–May
Cézanne is in Paris.
 
May 16
Cézanne leaves Paris for Aix.
 
June and early July
Cézanne takes an excursion to Saint-Antonin, a small village at the foot of Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Otherwise he leads a solitary life with his family, occasionally venturing into a café and gleaning "insignificant news" from Le Siècle, a Parisian newspaper.
 
November
Cézanne works on a landscape on the banks of the River Arc for the next Salon.
 
around December 15
Cézanne returns to Paris.
1869
At the beginning of the year, in Paris, Cézanne meets Emélie Hortense Fiquet, who becomes his companion.
 
April
Cézanne is in L’Estaque, where he paints a watercolor, Factories in L’Estaque.

«1850–1859 | 1870–1879»