Saturday Art: Paul Cezanne
With the heat making it miserable outside in the Sculpture Garden, again today I’ve moved inside the National Gallery of Art. Visiting to the east side of the main entrance, turning to the left, we’ve strolled through the impressionists to find the post impressionists.
Paul Cezanne represented the transition from the pure impressionists who first forged a reality outside of pure representation to later cubism. His work led from a figure of recognizable proportion and solidity to the modern ages that made an effect rather than a real object the guiding principle of their work.
Cézanne’s often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne’s intense study of his subjects.
Cézanne was interested in the simplification of naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials: he wanted to “treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone” (a tree trunk may be conceived of as a cylinder, an apple or orange a sphere, for example). Additionally, Cézanne’s desire to capture the truth of perception led him to explore binocular vision graphically, rendering slightly different, yet simultaneous visual perceptions of the same phenomena to provide the viewer with an aesthetic experience of depth different from those of earlier ideals of perspective, in particular single-point perspective. Cézanne’s innovations have prompted critics to suggest such varied explanations as sick retinas, pure vision, and the influence of the steam railway.
Cezanne shows us a repetition of colors that pick up and move our eye through his scenes.