Description of the Paintings by Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne was one of the most famous artists of the Post-Impressionism movement. The French artist was known for his style of using the planes of shading, small brushstrokes, and vivid color that inspired many other future art movements. 

When it comes to Cezanne’s influence in the art world, maestros like Picasso and Matisse had called him “the father of us all.” All thanks to Paul Cezanne’s exploration of geometric simplification and optical phenomena. His works also inspired many painters of the 20th century to experiment with their work and painting styles. 

Paying homage to the French artisan, in today’s article, we will talk about some of the most famous paintings by Paul Cezanne. So, read on to know more about Cezanne’s artworks!

Mont Sainte Victoire – 1904/1906

Lastly, we have this fantastic landscape, “Mont Sainte Victoire,” crafted by the famous painter Cezanne. This masterpiece is a series of Paul’s oil paintings between 1904 and 1906. 

In the painting, Paul has painted the beautiful view of Mont Sainte Victoire, a vast land stone massif situated in Aix-en-Provence in the southeast of France. The painting is deeply connected to the artist, and it is said that Paul Cezanne spent a lot of time painting the landscape. 

We can also see the Valley of the Arc River and railway bridge in the distance – a part of the line connecting Aix to Marseille. Besides the actual location of the painting, it also features tiny houses with sloping roofs partially covered by trees and vegetation. 

To create sharper and more geometric elements for the background, it is said that painter Cezanne used spatulas. Also, the volumes are broken down so that the entire image appears as a chromatic piece. This use of simple geometric shapes and volumes is often described as an anticipation of Cubism. 

The Card Players – 1894/1895

First on the list is “The Card Players,” a series of paintings that Paul Cezanne created between 1894 and 1895. Cezanne painted five versions of the painting using the exact figures, but all of them significantly vary in size, composition, and color schemes. 

One of the most significant works of the Post-Impressionist era, the painting presents two male figures playing a round of card games in a humble setting. It is assumed that one of the card players in the painting is Alexandre, the gardener who worked in the estate owned by famous painter Cezanne’s father. 

The card players are seated at an old wooden table with a closed wine bottle. Considering their clothes, we can presume that the man smoking the pipe seems older than the man on the right. 

Paul Cezanne has painted the peasants concentrating on their games in quiet dignity without any money. But, talking about the painting’s fame and worth, one of the five paintings was sold to the Royal Family of Qatar in 2011 for a whopping $250 million, the highest price paid in an auction. 

House of the Hanged Man Auvers Sur Oise – 1873

House of the Hanged Man Auvers Sur Oise is one of Cezanne’s most famous paintings from the Impressionist era. The painting shows an isolated house on a plain background and has been described as having a “negative” effect, which is unusual for Impressionist paintings.

The painting portrays the Auvers Sur Oise, a territorial division on the northwestern outskirts of Paris. Paul Cezanne and his wife and children moved to the place in 1872. It was here the French maestro learned the techniques and methods of Impressionism from Camille Pissarro, a vital figure of the Impressionist era. 

The artwork is not quite a literal representation of the scene but offers a severe reflection on the life and landscape around Cézanne. The village seems utterly deserted with no people around, and the vegetation seems far from lush. Also, the painting is quite stiff and stark, which gives the entire image an austere feeling. 

The masterpiece was first exhibited in the first exhibition of Impressionists in 1874, where Claude Monet’s very famous ‘Sunrise” was also exhibited. On its debut, the painting proved puzzling for critics, who struggled to appreciate it. As a result, the artist changed his technique after the exhibition, which became the next step in the development of Impressionism. 

The Basket of Apples – 1893

Paul Cezanne is internationally considered the greatest master of still life painting, and “The Basket of Apple” has to be one of Cezanne’s most famous paintings in the genre. In this piece, the French maestro has painted a bunch of fruits kept in baskets accompanied by a wine bottle. 

The first thing that grabs attention in this painting is the object’s color, which seems to be portrayed as a dark yellow color. The artist depicts the basket by using darker shades and also at an angle, making it look far from perfection. On the right side of the painting, you can also see a plate of cookies. 

The Basket of Apples is a beautiful and straightforward painting, defined by the unsettling balance of its various parts. For instance, the wine bottle seems slightly tilted towards the left and the inclined fruit basket. But when all the elements are added together, they conclude in a perfectly balanced composition. 

At first glance, any viewer would see these details as mistakes. However, it was an experiment that Paul Cezanne tried in perspective, which succeeded wonderfully. The result later proved to be a fundamental point in the transition from Impressionism to Cubism.

The Bottom Line

These are some of the most famous pieces of art by the Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cezanne. Despite his masterpieces and unique painting techniques, for most of Cezanne’s career, the public and critics were unenthusiastic about Paul Cezanne. 

However, things started looking up for Paul Cezanne after 1890, and he was recognized as one of the best artists in history. It is also worth noting that Cezanne was the first artist of his generation to break with Impressionism with success.


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