Paul Cézanne [1839-1906]

Self Portrait
French artist and Post-Impressionist painter

Paul Cézanne

was born,

January 19, 1839

in Aix-en-Provence,
a city and commune in Southern France, north of Marseille.

Cézanne 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.

He is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. 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. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne “is the father of us all”.

In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro. Initially the friendship formed in the mid-1860s between Pissarro and Cézanne was that of master and disciple, in which Pissarro exerted a formative influence on the younger artist. Over the course of the following decade their landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise, led to a collaborative working relationship between equals.

Cézanne’s early work is often concerned with the figure in the landscape and includes many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted. Later in his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and gradually developed a light, airy painting style. Nevertheless, in Cézanne’s mature work there is the development of a solidified, almost architectural style of painting. Throughout his life he struggled to develop an authentic observation of the seen world by the most accurate method of representing it in paint that he could find. To this end, he structurally ordered whatever he perceived into simple forms and colour planes. His statement “I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums”, and his contention that he was recreating Poussin “after nature” underscored his desire to unite observation of nature with the permanence of classical composition.

So here’s a glimpse of his work & words
Jas de Bouffan
Château Noir

“Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience.”

Forest Scene – path from Mas Jolie to Château Noir
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard
Les joueurs de cartes (The Card Players)
Femme au Chapeau Vert (Woman in a Green Hat, Madame Cézanne)
Houses in Provence – The Riaux Valley near L’Estaque

“When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.”

Mill at the River

“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.”

Madame Cézanne in the Greenhouse
A Modern Olympia

“It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.”

Jas de Bouffan
Portrait of Gustave Geffroy
Madame Cézanne in a red chair

“If isolation tempers the strong, it is the stumbling-block of the uncertain.”


“There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other.”

Lac d’Annecy

Les Grandes Baigneuses
The Bathers
Boy in a Red Waistcoat

“The world doesn’t understand me and I don’t understand the world, that’s why I’ve withdrawn from it.”

Mont Sainte-Victoire

“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.”

Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress
Paul Alexis reading to Émile Zola

“The awareness of our own strength makes us modest.”

Portrait of Paul Cézanne’s Son

“Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one’s sensations.”

The Neighborhood of Jas de Bouffan

“An art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t an art at all.”

The Hanged Man’s House
The Artist’s Father, Reading “L’Événement”
The Basket of Apples

“With an apple I will astonish Paris.”

Still Life with an Open Drawer

“Keep good company – that is, go to the Louvre.”

House and Trees
Still Life with Cherub
Pyramid of Skulls

“The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself.”

Three Bathers
Portrait of Victor Chocquet
The Overture to Tannhäuser – The Artist’s Mother and Sister

“For an Impressionist to paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations.”

Maison Maria on the way to the Château Noir
The House with the Cracked Walls
Mont Sainte-Victoire and Château Noir

“Painting is damned difficult – you always think you’ve got it, but you haven’t.”

Mont Saint-Victoire
Portrait of Achille Empéraire
Still Life with a Curtain

“Don’t be an art critic. Paint. There lies salvation..”

Mont Saint-Victoire
Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress

“Shadow is a colour as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.”

The Bridge of Trois-Sautets
Montagne Sainte-Victoire

“Here, on the river’s verge, I could be busy for months without changing my place, simply leaning a little more to right or left.”

Portrait of Madame Cézanne

“I must be more sensible and realize that at my age, illusions are hardly permitted and they will always destroy me.”

High trees in Jas de Bouffan
Woman with a Coffeepot
Bend in the Road Through the Forest
Large Pine and Red Earth

Man with a Pipe
Forest Interior
View of L’Estaque and the gulf of Marseille

Self Portraits

French Romantic composer and pianist

Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier [1841-1894]

was born yesterday,

January 18, 1841

so we listen to his

Pièces pittoresques

[arranged for orchestra]

Performed by Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

conducted by Michel Plasson

Arranged by the composer in 1888 as Suite Pastorale (in the order 6, 7, 4 & 10.)
Ravel’s orchestration of the Menuet pompeux was completed in 1918.

Emmanuel Chabrier

I. No. 4. Sous bois
II. No. 6. Idylle
III. No. 7. Danse villageoise
IV. No. 9. Menuet pompeux (orch. Ravel)
V. No. 10. Scherzo-Valse.

For more information on Cézanne:


Be Safe

50 replies »

  1. I didn’t give Harlequin any praise. I really like it.
    You do a great job with these posts, Marina!

  2. Love this post, Marina. Beautiful art work and I love the still life and landscapes the best. The quotes are wonderful, too. This one: “It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas” reminds me of the creating process of writing, too.
    Hugs, my friend. 💖💖💖

  3. This is great!
    You are like an online Art Gallery.
    Cézanne is an intriguing artist. I adore what he says about standing in front of a blank canvas.
    The music is wonderful!
    Norm has encouraged me to try canvas, again. I think I’d like to. However, the art supplies stores are all closed…. so I draw on paper. I went a bit wild buying art supplies when the stores were open, so the AGM drawings are in no jeopardy.

    My faves in this collection are Forest Scene – path from Mas Jolie to Château Noir & Boy in a red waistcoat.

    A bit off topic…have you covered Degas? I’ll have to look in your pages. You’ve covered so many at this point, I ca’t remember all. Also, as I am drawing Picasso Art Gowns… I’ll revisit that post as well!

    WOOF , MEW and I love you!

  4. I really enjoy your online curation, Marina, since there are many works of artists I’ve never seen before. When you include pieces typically outside one’s well know oeuvre, it’s always a revelation. Not all of us have all those marvelous coffee table books! The internet puts them at our fingertips through your discerning eye. The paintings I particularly like here are: The Hanged Man’s House, Large Pine and Red Earth, and Forest Interior. Mostly for their palette, of course 🙂

  5. I would say philosophers are those who expand the possibilities of human cognition, including perception. He was one of those, in the realm of vision, finding new ways, a bridge into something new that nobody had seen before or that had been blocked by academic rules.

  6. I love Cézanne. We were in Aix-en-Provence for two weeks in 2013. We stayed in a house that was a couple of road west of Cézanne’s house at about the same level as his house. I climbed up on the hill behind the house and I could get a similar view of Montagne Sainte-Victoire that Cézanne had. I remember a woman in a class I was in thought it was weird for Cézanne to do so many paintings of Montagne Sainte-Victoire. I told the woman it wasn’t weird at all because the light and clouds and atmosphere are constantly changing. It’s similar to me doing photos of the Sandias almost daily. When we were in the hills south of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, I realized it looked similar to the Sandias from that perspective.

    • I understand exactly what you’re saying about the Sandias as I witness it through your amazing images. What a wonderful experience staying there, seeing the same views he painted!

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