Paul Cezanne was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839. He came from a wealthy banking family and enjoyed financial security. Cezanne never had to endure the life of a struggling artist, unlike so many of his peers.
Cezanne was a French Post-Impressionist artist whose paintings and technique had a significant influence on so many artists who superseded him. His work is acknowledged to have led the path to Cubism and opened the door to Modern Art.
Whilst at college in Aix, Cezanne became acquainted with Emile Zola who encouraged him to move to Paris and to concentrate on an artistic life. In Paris he formed a friendship with Camille Pissarro and together they painted the most beautiful landscape oil paintings of Pontoise and Louveciennes, France.
The Salon des Refuses displayed paintings which had not been accepted by the Official Paris Salon and many of Cezanne's paintings were exhibited there. However, he finally gained recognition by the Salon with the acceptance of Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cezanne; the Artist's Father Reading painted in 1886. This was his only successful submission to the Salon.
During his lifetime, Paul Cezanne is thought to have painted some 900 oil on canvas paintings and 400 watercolors. Cezanne famous paintings are collected extensively and are in both public and private collections worldwide.
The Card Players series consists of five of paintings. The Courtauld Gallery holds two, one of which is The Card Players 1892-96. The Card Players 1890-96 is on view at New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Boy in a Red Vest by Paul Cezanne is also known as The Boy in the Red Waistcoat 1889. It is considered Cezanne's finest portrait paintings and was featured in the America TV series Scandal.
It estimated that there are around 30 Cezanne oil paintings of Montagne Sainte-Victoire which are some of his more famous landscapes. The Montagne Sainte-Victoire is located in the South of France and overlooks Aix-en-Provence. The Mont Sainte-Victoire paintings reveal geometric forms and in later paintings the colors appear darker and richer. The paintings were completed between the period 1882 and 1906.
Cezanne's oil on canvas painting Mont Sainte-Victoire 1902-04 is a beautiful Cezanne painting with the mountain in the background with the sun casting a glow on a landscape of houses in the foreground.
A later version, Mont Sainte Victoire c1904-06 is on permanent loan to Princeton Museum from the Pearlman Foundation.
Quarry and Mont Sainte-Victoire seen from the Bibemus is held by the Hermitage Museum Saint Peterburg, Russia. This painting views the mountain from a closer perspective.
Vanitas art contains inanimate objects which symbolize death. Two famous vanitas paintings by Cezanne are Three Skulls, c1900 and The Pyramid of Skulls c1901. Cezanne was a devout Catholic and these two paintings were completed in the aftermath of his mother's death and demonstrate his preoccupation with morbidity at this time.
Of Paul Cezanne still life paintings, Still Life with Curtain and Flowered Pitcher 1895 is considered his greatest. This oil on canvas painting is held by the Hermitage Museum in their European Fine Art collection.