Paul Cezanne

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Paul Cezanne
Man in a Blue Smock artwork by Paul Cezanne

Man in a Blue Smock

Born: 01/19/1839
Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: 10/22/1906
Age: 67
Movements Post-Impressionism
Nationality French
Expertise Painter

Paul Cezanne, born Henri Julien F lix Cezanne, was one of the greatest French Post-impressionist artists of the twentieth century. His work advanced the start of the Cubism movement, and he is highly regarded as the master of still life painting.

Personal life

Paul Cezanne was born into a wealthy family and received a large inheritance when his father died. His father, Philippe Auguste, was a successful banker who was not fond of his son’s desire to pursue art and wanted him to be a lawyer. In 1858, Cezanne enrolled in both the University of Aix to study law and School of Design to study art. He went to Paris briefly to attend cole des Beaux-Arts but was turned down. Upon his return from Paris, he started working at his father’s bank. In 1862, Cezanne left his job at his father’s bank and went to Paris where he stayed until 1870. While in Paris, he met other famous artists, but in 1870, he left Paris, preferring the isolation he enjoyed back home. In addition, he was disappointed by rejections from the Salon and art schools. Although his work was heavily criticized throughout his life, young artists took notice towards the latter part of his art career. In 1906, he died from complications from diabetes and pneumonia.


Paul Cezanne’s painting Mont St. Victoire is famous because of the technique he used. The landscape features an increased architectural edge. This painting was revolutionary for its time and is widely believed to have inspired the start of the Cubism movement. Bathesr is an important masterpiece, which served as inspiration to other artists. It was exhibited in 1906. He painted a series of paintings featuring bathers. It is widely believed that Cezanne expressed his sexuality and intimacy issues through this painting. He often painted still life featuring glassware and fruit. His most famous still life is Compotier, Pitcher, and Fruit. In this painting, he moved away from the realistic portrayal of fruit. Some of the fruits are so close to the edge of the table that they look like they are about to fall off. The Lake at Annecy is a masterpiece and one of his most famous landscape paintings. His movement towards geometric forms is depicted here in his portrayal of the tree and the building. This is a view of the French Alps from his hotel room.

Fun Facts

  • Cezanne married Marie-Hortense Fiquet in 1870.
  • God the Father was his nickname for Camille Pissarro, although Matisse and Picasso regarded Cézanne as the “father of us all.”
  • One reason he left Paris in 1870 was to avoid the Franco-Prussian War.

Related Artists


Some Examples of Paul Cezanne’s Artwork

Cezanne:Marseilles 1886-90 artwork by Paul Cezanne

Cezanne:Marseilles 1886-90

Cezanne: Table 1888-90 artwork by Paul Cezanne

Cezanne: Table 1888-90

Mont Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine-Tree circa 1887 artwork by Paul Cezanne

Mont Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine-Tree circa 1887