Paul Cezanne 1839-1906

13/05/14

Research Point

Look at artists who worked in series with the landscape such as Monet, Pissarro or Cezanne. Make notes in your learning log about the challenges they faced and how they tackled them.

From what I can gather from books on Paul Cezanne, he was, what you might call, a very cerebral artist. By that I mean, he seemed to have to get a scene right in his mind before he began the physical process of interpreting it in paint. He took his selection of subject very seriously and scoured the countryside for his “perfect” subject.

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

 

 

 

 

 

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

Part of a series of paintings of Mont Saint-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cezanne is well known for his paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire, Aix-en-Provence in France. In this dominant shape he saw the ordered and balanced motif he was searching for, and set about his task of expressing it in its variety. He liked to select an object in nature that wouldn’t change in itself but that provided, seemingly, infinite compositions regarding colour and its surrounding environment.

When painting outside, Cezanne was fairly unusual for his time in using watercolour to make studies. It allowed him to be more spontaneous in his work, employing speed and expressive mark making without the, as he allegedly considered, more laboured approach of oil paints.

Arc Valley and Mont Sainte Victoire

Sketch of the Arc Valley 1885-87 and painting of Mont Sainte-Victoire 1885-87 Oil on Canvas

Cezanne returned to subjects often, and when making sketches, they sometimes appear very sparse in information eg The Arc Valley 1885-1887, yet the painting of a similar view is rich in subject matter – Mont Sainte-Victoire 1885-1887. This begs the question whether they were both made in situ or if the memory a regularly painted subject was so strong he just needed small reminders of the scene.

Research and photographs of images from:

Cezanne by Ulkrike Becks-Malorny Published by Taschen 1995

Cezanne by Richard Verdi Published by Thames & Hudson 1992

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