Happy Birthday Paul Cezanne! French born in 1839 to a wealthy banker, Cezanne is considered a Post-Impressionist. He studied law for a time, but also took art courses. Some say he is perhaps the greatest painter of the past 100 years. In the 1860’s, Cezanne became aligned with the Impressionists, but eventually moved away from the lack of structure in their work, wanting to “make of Impressionism something solid and durable”. As the Impressionists, Cezanne often painted outdoors, a practice which would ultimately lead to his death after being caught in a rainstorm, falling ill and later dying from the exposure. The Still Life with Apples and Oranges (1899) pictured here demonstrates Cezanne’s quest for durability, the forms simplified and darkly outlined, the cloth expertly shaded with blended values.
Post-Impressionists were not so much against Impressionism, rather wanted to go a step further. Impressionists were essentially colorists, fascinated with light and color and the effects of light, atmosphere, and sunlight on their subject matter. They were caught up in the surface or impression of the object, while Post-Impressionist wanted to control or organize reality, desiring a more personal interpretation.