Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne was born in 1839 and was a French Post impressionist Painter. Cézanne is known for his varied painting style which later influenced many modern day artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. In contrast to the poverty stricken life of Vincent Van Gogh, Cezanne’s father was wealthy and afforded him financial security. Although Cezanne’s father was against him pursuing an artistic career, and encouraged him to pursue law instead, Cézanne simultaneously studied both until eventually he committed to art and design as a path to follow. Cézanne was doubtful of himself though and so worked intermittently in his fathers business between bouts of confidence in his art practice.

Paul Cézanne – Still Life with Skull, 1895-1900

The last few decades of Cezanne’s life were the most influential in their contributions to the modern art world, arguably acting as precursors to Cubism and Modernism.  Exploring Cezanne’s painting of still life I chose the above example “Still Life with Skull”. Cézanne’s painting style has been described as being quite analytical with him considering every brush stroke and how it contributes to the integrity of the image as a whole. There is an architectural and sculptural element to Cezanne’s work, which he perfected over several decades especially in relation to depicting still life, which at the time was seen as not very respected and quite low level fine art.

In response to Cezanne’s “Still life with Skull” I attempted to recreate my own version at home. I didn’t have a skull to hand but I thought the face of the antique teddy bear would act as a good substitute. I also tried to incorporate the draped fabric and selection of fruit and vegetables arranged along the table, and I reimagined the back ground of the painting to fit in line with Cezanne’s style. I think the outcome as a very quick painted response offers a good depiction but I do think due to the quick nature of the response it clearly lacks Cezanne’s meticulous and methodical painting style.

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