Paul Cezanne “Self Portrait” Lithograph
Paul Cézanne (born January 19, 1839 — October 22, 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter, etcher and Lithographer whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavor 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, color, composition and draftsmanship. His often repetitive, sensitive and exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of color 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.
In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro. Initially the friendship formed in the mid-1860s between Pissarro and Cézanne was that of master and mentoree, with Pissarro exerting a formative influence on the younger artist. Over the course of the following decade their landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise, led to a collaborative working relationship between equals.
Cézanne’s early work is often concerned with the figure in the landscape and comprises many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted. Later in his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and gradually developed a light, airy painting style that was to influence the Impressionists enormously. Nevertheless, in Cézanne’s mature work we see the development of a solidified, almost architectural style of painting. Throughout his life he struggled to develop an authentic observation of the seen world by the most accurate method of representing it in paint that he could find. To this end, he structurally ordered whatever he perceived into simple forms and color planes. His statement “I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums”, and his contention that he was recreating Poussin “after nature” underscored his desire to unite observation of nature with the permanence of classical composition.
Paul Cezanne “Self Portrait” lithograph. Published by Paul Cassier (1900—1920). Printed on smooth cream wove paper. Image size is 5.75 by 5 inches on a sheet sheet measuring 11 by 8.75 inches, unsigned and in good condition with little slight discolor on the edges of the sheet.