ABOUT THIS BOOK
Few artists have exerted as much influence on modern art as Paul Cézanne. Picasso, Braque, and Matisse all acknowledged a profound debt to his painting, and many historians regard him as the father of modernism. This new biography reexamines Cézanne’s life and art, discussing the key events and people who shaped his work and placing his oeuvre in the context of nineteenth and early twentieth-century art and culture.
Jon Kear begins with Cézanne’s formative years in Provence, highlighting the deep and abiding impressions the landscapes of the region would have on his paintings. He follows him through his turbulent years as a young artist in Paris, where he would create the larger-than-life artistic persona—through a rugged painting style detailing explicit subjects—that would become a lasting mythology for him throughout all of his phases. He looks closely at Cézanne’s relationships with Edouard Manet—whom he both emulated and critiqued—and the writer Émile Zola, as well as his close collaboration with Camille Pissarro. Above all, he tells the story of his life as a part of the pivotal shift toward the twentieth century, illuminating how much his work and ideas helped to usher it in.