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Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

Posted by BFP Staff on Jun 12, 2018 at 10:16 PM

“Nothing is beautiful except what is true,” Cézanne once said, “and only true things should be loved.”


By Dr. Sam Ben-Meir
One can hardly overstate the significance of Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), an artist who not only transformed French painting, but in many ways invented modern art: “The father of us all,” as Picasso observed. To be a painter in the twentieth century, one had to come to terms with Cézanne – an artist whose work forces upon us the question of what it means to be a painter. For Cézanne, it was nothing less than to confront the mystery of the visible, the vitality and interpenetration of objects, the paradoxical nature of being itself.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. is currently exhibiting a generous selection of Cézanne’s portraits, offering a window into the artist’s development, his readiness to experiment, his unflinching honesty and tireless commitment as a painter: “I want to die painting,” he would say, “I am probably only the primitive of a new art.”

 

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