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Post-Impressionist French painter Paul Cézanne is best known for his incredibly varied painting style, which greatly influenced 20th century abstract art.
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The work of Post-Impressionist French painter Paul Cézanne, born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839, can be said to have formed the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic inquiry, Cubism. The mastery of design, tone,
"Art is a harmony parallel with nature."
"It's so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas."
"When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art."
"The world doesn't understand me and I don't understand the world, that's why I've withdrawn from it."
"I must be more sensible and realize that at my age, illusions are hardly permitted and they will always destroy me."
"Shadow is a colour as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones."
Famed painter Paul Cézanne was born on January 19, 1839, in Aix-en-Provence (also known as Aix), France. His father, Philippe Auguste, was the co-founder of a banking firm that prospered throughout the artist's life, affording him financial security that was unavailable to most of his contemporaries and eventually resulting in a large inheritance. In 1852, Paul Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon, where he met and befriended Émile Zola. This friendship was decisive for both men: with youthful romanticism, they envisioned successful careers in Paris' booming art industry—Cézanne as a painter and Zola as a writer.
Consequently, Cézanne began to study painting and drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Design) in Aix in 1856. His father opposed the pursuit of an artistic career, and in 1858 he persuaded Cézanne to enter law school at the University of Aix-en-Provence. Though Cézanne continued his law studies for several years, he was simultaneously enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts, where he remained until 1861.
In 1861, Cézanne finally convinced his father to allow him to go to Paris, where he planned to join Zola and enroll at the Académie des Beaux-Arts (now the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris). His application to the academy was rejected, however, so he began his artistic studies at the Académie Suisse instead. Though Cézanne had gained inspiration from visits to the Louvre—particularly from studying Diego Velázquez and Caravaggio—he found himself crippled by self-doubt after five months in Paris. Returning to Aix, he entered his father's banking house, but continued to study at the School of Design.
The remainder of the decade was a period of flux and uncertainty for Paul Cézanne. His attempt to work in his father's business was abortive, so in 1862 he returned to Paris, where he stayed for the next year and a half. During this period, Cézanne met Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro and became acquainted with the revolutionary work of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet. The budding artist also admired the fiery romanticism of Eugène Delacroix's paintings. But Cézanne, never entirely comfortable with Parisian life, periodically returned to Aix, where he could work in relative isolation. He retreated there, for instance, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871).
Paul Cézanne's paintings from the 1860s are peculiar, bearing little overt resemblance to the artist's mature and more important style. The subject matter is brooding and melancholy and includes fantasies, dreams, religious images and a general preoccupation with the macabre.
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