Since the start of class in the beginning of the semester, we’ve looked at some monumentally influential artists. For example, one of my personal favorites, Paul Cézanne, who lived from 1839 to 1906. Cézanne was a French artist and post-impressionist painter whose work laid the foundation for many other great artists to build on.
Cézanne is said to have bridged the gap between late 19th century impressionism and early 20th century forms of cubism. His unique method of building form with color and the analytical approach he takes to nature established him as one of the most influential artists of the 19th century. Unsatisfied with the Impressionist dictum that painting is primarily a reflection of visual perception, Cézanne sought to make of his artistic practice a new kind of analytical discipline. In his hands, the canvas itself takes on the role of a screen where an artist's visual sensations are registered as he gazes intensely, and often repeatedly, at a given subject. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have recognized Cézanne as “the father of us all”.
One of his most easily recognizable works of art, which also happens to be my favorite painting of all time – The Card Players – shows just captivating his work can be. The short, exploratory brush strokes he uses are a signature touch in his artwork and really helps to convey his intense study of his subjects. Overall, Paul Cézanne contributed enormously to modern art, and his legacy lives on.