Cézanne

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By Ulrike Becks-Malorny

In the latter half of the 19th century, in the verdant countryside near Aix-en-Provence, Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), busily plied his brush to landscapes and still lifes that would become anchors of modern art. With compact, intense dabs of paint and bold new approaches to light and space, he mediated the way from Impressionism to the defining movements of the early 20th century and became, in the words of both Matisse and Picasso, “father of us all.”

This fresh artist introduction selects key works from Cézanne’s oevure to understand his development, innovation, and crucial influence on modern art. From compositions of fruits and pears to scenes of outdoor bathers, we trace his experimentation with color, perspective, and texture to evoke “a harmony parallel to Nature,” as well as the very process of seeing and recording.

Along the way, we discover Cézanne’s celebrated Card Players, his layering of warm and cool hues to build up form and surface, and the geometric rigor of his landscapes from the vicinity of Aix-en-Provence, as bright with the light of southern France as they are bold with a radical new rendering of dimensions and depth.

Each book in Taschen’s Basic Art series features a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance, a concise biography, and approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions.

Hardcover with jacket, 96 pages

Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.5 x 0.5 inches

“He cannot put two touches of color on a canvas without its being very good” — Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The Detroit Institute of Arts has several Cézanne's in its collection including Skull and Book (c. 1885), Madame Cezanne (c. 1886), Bathers (c. 1880), Head of a Man (1865), and The Three Skulls (c. 1900).