Paul Cézanne - (1839 - 1906)Precursor of the 20th century modern art
Paul Cézanne was born on January 19th, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence. He started his painting studies attending evening classes at the local art school. In 1861, Cézanne moved to Paris where he met Pissarro. The same year, he returned to Aix-en-Provence and worked in his father's bank. Between 1862 and 1864, he returned to Paris and met many painters like Renoir, Monet, Sisley, Bazille and later Manet. During the years between 1864 and 1870, he often moved from Aix to Paris and back. Then he met his future wife Marie Hortense Fiquet . In 1872, he became the father of a little boy called Paul and started his collaboration with Pissarro that introduced Cézanne to the impressionist style. This collaboration lasted 2 years and at the end Cézanne participated to an impressionist show with 3 paintings, and his work was mocked. Between 1879 and 1886, he lived in various French towns before turning back finally to Aix-en-Provence where he stayed until his death, on October 22nd, 1906.
His distortion of shapes and use of geometrical shapes made him a precursor ot the 20th century modern art, with other painters like van Gogh and Munch. During his life time, he did not get the recognition of his fellow painters and of the critic, so that he remained financially dependent from his father.
© Jean-Gérard Anfossi