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Cézanne and Antiquity

Faya Causey, head of academic programs, National Gallery of Art. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was perhaps more knowledgeable about the ancient world—its art, history, languages, and literature—than any other late nineteenth-century painter was. His understanding of the antiquity of Provence, where he lived most of his life in contact with its storied places and their layered histories, was particularly deep, encompassing its geological formation and millennia of inhabitation from the Paleolithic to the Roman period. In this lecture recorded on August 2, 2015, at the National Gallery of Art, Faya Causey traces Cézanne’s involvement with this world, from his own experiences in Aix and its environs to his decades-long study of classical art, architecture, and literature at Collège Bourbon; at the free drawing school attached to the Musée d'Aix (now the Musée Granet), and at the Musée du Louvre.