Art – Cézanne – Portraits of a Life episode 5: described by Picasso and Matisse as “the father of us all”, Cézanne is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. Despite this, Paul Cézanne remains somewhat unknown, somewhat misunderstood. Yet one can’t appreciate 20th-century art without understanding the genius of Cézanne and this film reveals the true man.
Featuring interviews with curators and experts from the National Portrait Gallery London, MoMA New York, National Gallery of Art Washington, and Musée d’Orsay Paris as well as correspondence from the artist himself, the film takes audiences beyond the exhibition to the places in which Cézanne lived and worked, throwing new light on the life and work of this hugely influential artist.
Art – Cézanne – Portraits of a Life episode 5
Paul Cézanne (19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne’s often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne’s intense study of his subjects.
Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne “is the father of us all.”
The Cézannes came from the commune of Saint-Sauveur (Hautes-Alpes, Occitania). Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence. On 22 February, he was baptized in the Église de la Madeleine, with his grandmother and uncle Louis as godparents, and became a devout Catholic later in life. His father, Louis Auguste Cézanne (1798–1886), a native of Saint-Zacharie (Var), was the co-founder of a banking firm (Banque Cézanne et Cabassol) that prospered throughout the artist’s life, affording him financial security that was unavailable to most of his contemporaries and eventually resulting in a large inheritance.