SUNDAY Feature on ART of Architecture
Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), French Painter, who initiated a radically different post-Impressionist style of art and marked the turn of the new 20th C. He was called the Master of Aix, (Aix-en-Provence -birth place of Cézanne), during his lifetime. The Provence countryside nurtured his art and became the means of his artistic expression. Other painters visited the Provence, but none could surpass the expressions achieved by Cézanne. Cézanne created stunning images in the outdoors, indoors, portraits, still life, and imaginary compositions.
He aimed to transform the Impressionist style of painting, into something more concrete. In his own words, ‘I seek to render perspective only through colour, by increasing the depth, with concentrated richness of colour, and in skill of composition’. He said, ‘to paint is to register these colour sensations’. He painted with deliberate strokes. He painted a wide variety of topics, such as landscapes, portraits or still-life.
Cézanne had good intellectual relationships with contemporary artists like Camille Pisarro, Claude Monet. French writer Emile Zola was his childhood friend. Pisarro persuaded Cézanne to use broken bits of colour and short brushstrokes that were the trademarks of the Impressionists.
He was a private person, spending time in seclusion. He was rarely seen by anyone in public life. He became something of a legendary figure. Cézanne’s last period were spent in solitude and meditation resulting ‘lyricism’. He attained everything in own lifetime. The landscape, he said, ‘becomes human, a thinking, living being within me. I become one with my picture …We merge in an iridescent chaos’. Julius Meier-Graef, observed in 1904, ‘Except for Van Gogh, no one in modern art has made stronger demands on aesthetic receptivity than Cézanne’.
He wrote to his son, ‘I should remain alone, people’s cunning is such that I can’t get away from it, it’s theft, conceit, infatuation, rape, seizure of your production’. He said ‘I was born here; I will die here’ (Aix-en-Provence).