Beautiful. I love Cezanne’s work but best known for his landscapes, and ‘father’ of Matisse and Picasso.
Known less for his portraits, Cezanne’s method of building colour and analytical approach is said to have influenced the next generation of artists. What I loved about this exhibition, with its 50 portraits, is that it gives a much more personal insight into Cezanne and his life. The first room introduces you to Cezanne’s father, who was keen for Cezanne to go into a more traditional industry, but lovingly funded Cezanne through the hardest part of his life while he was a struggling artist.
You are then introduced to Cezanne’s lover, and soon to be wife, Hortense Fiquet. She is the most prolific muse for Cezanne, despite their sometime difficult relationship. It is interesting to see how the portraits of her develop; from the thick oils smoothed on just by the scalpel, to the later portraits which show Hortense Fiquet with a strikingly simple face compared to the background which is highly detailed.
His son, Paul is also in many of the portraits throughout Cezanne’s life – though he didn’t live with him all the time due to his mother and father’s difficult relationships.
There are a few portraits of himself too. Cezanne preferred to paint his friends and family and commissioned art is rare which offers a personal view of Cezanne’s life through his portraits.
Until 11 February 2018