Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Midterm Essay

    Paul Cézanne, also known as the father of modern art, lived from 1839 to 1906. He began his works emulating those of Manet's but later wandered off in his own deeply undermining direction. He was described by Henry Matisse as "the father of us all" and by Pablo Picasso as "the mother who protects her children.” His paintings held almost no value when he created them, however, back in 2011 one of work from his Card Players sold for $274 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold. It was in the late 19th century when he became the first artist of his generation to break away from Impressionism. His work constitutes the link between the aspects of Impressionism and the more materialistic artist movements of Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism and abstraction.

   Cézanne painted in every genre and was successful in landscapes and portraiture. However, he was best known for his still life work. He ultimately came to regard color, line and form as one and the same thing, or aspects that are inseparable in describing how the human eye actually experiences nature. He applied his pigments to the canvas in discrete, methodical brushstrokes as though he were "constructing" a picture rather than "painting" it. Till this day his work remains true to an underlying architectural appeal, which is, every portion of the canvas should contribute to its overall structural integrity. He created a technique known as, 'flat-depth', what this does is makes landscapes appear as two- dimensional because of how he chose his colors and made created fields of varied tones.

   Cézanne's paintings from the 1870s are a testament to the influence that the Impressionist movement had on the artist. Cézanne used short, hatched brushstrokes to help ensure surface unity in his work as well as to model individual masses and spaces as if they themselves were carved out of paint. The Characteristic of his work is viewed as a pivotal step leading up to the abstract art of the 20th century. After his death in 1906. Posthumous exhibitions at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune and the Salon d'Automne in Paris established Cézanne's artistic legacy.

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