Cezanne, Paul



Paul Cezanne Biography

Cezanne was born in the French town of Aix-en-Provence, January 19, 1839. His boyhood companion was Emile Zola, who later gained fame as a novelist. Cezanne developed artistic interests at an early age, much to the dismay of his father, a wealthy banker. In 1862, after a number of bitter family disputes, the aspiring artist was given a small allowance and sent to study art in Paris where he was drawn to the more radical elements of the Parisian art world.

One of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists, whose works and ideas were influential in the aesthetic development of many 20th-century artists and especially Cubist painters. Cezanne's oil paintings, misunderstood and discredited by the public during most of his life, grew out of Impressionism and eventually challenged all the conventional values of painting in the 19th century because of his insistence on personal expression and on the integrity of the painting itself, regardless of subject matter.

Cezanne is now recognized as the most significant precursor of 20th-century formal abstraction in painting, as he developed a purely pictorial language that balanced analysis with emotion and structure with lyricism.

Best known paintings: The Large Bathers, Mont Sainte-Victoire

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