Paul Cezanne

Paul CezannePaul Cezanne was a noted French painter considered as one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. He was known to have led the way for the transition of Impressionism in the 19th Century to the styles the has been developing in the early 20th Century.

He was one of the painters who challenged the conventional values of painting in the 19th Century which insisted on personal expression and integrity of the painting itself. Although his own works were discredited by the public for most of his life, he eventually was considered as the Father of Modern Painting.

Early Life

Paul Cezanne was born on January 19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. His father, Louis-Auguste Cezanne was a prosperous banker. His mother was Anne-Elisabeth Honorine Aubert. Paul also had two other younger sisters named Marie and Rose. The family’s affluence afforded little Paul with the financial security that most of his contemporaries were not able to enjoy.

Young Paul started learning art at the age of ten while at Saint Joseph Boarding School> He first studied drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk in Aix. In 1852, Paul entered College Bourbon where he stayed for six years.

From 1859 to 1861, he followed his father’s wished and attended law school at the University of Aix. But his love for art made hi go against his father’s wishes and left for Paris in 1861. Eventually Paul’s father supported his career choice and both son and father reconciled. He was later given an inheritance of 400,000 francs, more than enough to give him financial security.

Life As An Artist

While in Paris, Paul Cezanne met with the Impressionists and formed a friendship with them. They became an influence to Cezanne especially in his first paintings which mostly consisted of figures in landscapes. Gradually, Cezanne developed a light and airy painting style that also influenced the Impressionists greatly. Cezanne later sought out to develop of representing the seen world into the canvas by the most accurate method possible.

Later on, Cezanne also became interested in simplifying his paintings, by creating naturally occurring forms into their geometric essentials. He wanted to paint forms as cylinders, spheres and cones. Cezanne became a unique painter in that he was equally proficient in painting different genres- still lifes, landscapes and portraits. In absence of the availability of models for his work, Cezanne was known to design from imagination.

His works were exhibited in some display in Paris. His paintings were shown in the first exhibition of the Salon des Refuses in 1863 but were not accepted by the jury of the Paris Salon. The salon continually rejected Cezanne’s subsequent submissions until 1869.

His work was finally displayed at the Salon for exhibition in 1882. Cezanne’s "Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cezanne, Father of the Artist, reading ‘l’Evenement’, 1866 " became his only successful submission to the Salon. He eventually enjoyed public recognition and some financial success as the admiration for Impressionist works began to grow. Cezanne later on died of pneumonia on October 22, 1906.

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