Paul Cezanne was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839 into a wealthy banking family and enjoyed financial security. As a result, 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Cezanne was a French Post-Impressionist artist whose paintings and techniques significantly influenced many artists who superseded him. His paintings are acknowledged to have led the path to Cubism and opened the door to Modern Art.
Cezanne inspired great artists such as Picasso and Matisse. Other famous artists, Edgar Degas, Renoir, and Gauguin, also cite him as the inspiration for their work.
While at college in Aix, Cezanne became acquainted with Emile Zola, who encouraged him to move to Paris and concentrate on 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 that the Official Paris Salon had not accepted, including many of Cezanne's paintings.
However, he finally gained recognition from the Salon with the acceptance of Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cezanne, the Artist's Father Reading, painted in 1886. Unfortunately, this was his only successful submission to the Salon.
Cezanne's Les Grandes Baigneuses, or The Large Bathers, is a large oil painting from which Matisse and Picasso drew inspiration with their subsequent bather paintings.
During his lifetime, Paul Cezanne painted approximately 900 oil on canvas paintings and 400 watercolors. Cezanne's famous paintings are collected extensively in public and private collections worldwide.
The Card Players series consists of five paintings. The Courtauld Gallery holds two, one of which is The Card Players 1892-96. In addition, the Card Players 1890-96 is on view at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Boy in a Red Vest by Paul Cezanne, also known as The Boy in the Red Waistcoat 1889, is considered Cezanne's finest portrait painting. This oil painting on canvas features in the America TV series Scandal.
There are around 30 Cezanne oil paintings of Montagne Sainte-Victoire. These paintings 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 his later paintings, the colors appear darker and richer. Cezanne painted these between 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 illustrate his preoccupation with morbidity at this time.
Of Paul Cezanne's still life paintings, Still Life with Curtain and Flowered Pitcher 1895 is considered his greatest. This oil on canvas painting is in the permanent Collection at the State Hermitage Museum.
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