I can’t tell you how many Cezanné paintings I copied in art school but it was a lot. I learned a lot by doing that and came to appreciate one of the greatest artists who ever lived. So much of his usage of paint and brushes wore off on me that I still think of how he would’ve painted something when I do some traditional painting.
Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne “is the father of us all” cannot be easily dismissed.
Cézanne’s work demonstrates a mastery of design, colour, tone, composition and draughtsmanship. His often repetitive, sensitive and exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields, at once both a direct expression of the sensations of the observing eye and an abstraction from observed nature. The paintings convey Cézanne’s intense study of his subjects, a searching gaze and a dogged struggle to deal with the complexity of human visual perception.
And only Cezanné could make apples and oranges exciting to look at.