Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Lectures
Lectures and Book Signings
Cézanne's Portraits: Doubt, Certainty, and Painting in Series

June 3 at 2:00
East Building Auditorium
John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Distinguished Curator and Lecturer, Princeton University Art Museum

Bringing together some 60 paintings drawn from collections around the world, Cézanne Portraits is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to this often-neglected area of Paul Cézanne’s work. His portraits were widely thought to be shockingly inept when they were first exhibited, but were understood by a small circle of artists and critics to be extremely radical works. John Elderfield discusses how Cézanne’s extended, methodical style of painting—“one stroke after the other” is how the artist described it—readily led to the creation of one painting after the other of the same subject. Elderfield also explains how indifferent Cézanne was to the “personality” or “character” of his sitters—long thought to have been necessary aims of portraiture—wanting simply to paint the objective, permanent presence of someone seen. Cézanne Portraits, in its sole American venue at the National Gallery, is on view through July 1, 2018.

The lecture will be streamed live here.

A signing of the exhibition catalog follows.

Portrait of John Elderfield. Pencil on paper by Phong Bui for The Brooklyn Rail.

Visitor Information

Newsletters

Get updates on what’s happening at the Gallery, from exhibitions and lectures to family programs and more. Sign up.