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Cezanne, Paul.

Cezanne, Paul

(1839 - 1906) French painter. The great master of postimpressionism and perhaps the greatest figure in modern French painting, Cezanne was born in Aix - en - Provence, the son of a banker. His early works were low in key and heavy in medium, but after 1870 he began to paint out of doors and allied himself with the impressionists. By 1876 he had already begun to accentuate mass, rather than light, in an effort to achieve a better illusion of volume. C ezanne's statement that " Nature must be treated through the cylinder, the sphere, the cone " summarizes his desire " to make of impressionism something as solid and durable as the painting in the museums. " This search led him to displace visual planes, to raise the horizon, to construct his paintings in such a way that each departure from nature would increase the impression of form and depth. He retained the pure colors of impressionism, but used them to build up volume through the contrast of tones. He spent much of his life as a recluse in Provence, painting the famous still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, which were then unknown except to a few of his contemporaries. It was not until the last decade of the century that his reputation began to grow. Cezanne is said to have been in the mind of Emile Zola, his former schoolmate and friend, during the composition of L ' (Euvre (1886); Zola represents his hero as a restless painter and failure.

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1987
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