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Paul Cézanne: His Life and His Famous Works



Do you know the name Paul Cézanne? Paul Cézanne was a highly influential painter and his works continue to inspire artists today. In this post, we will look at his life and artwork. So get ready to explore why Paul Cézanne deserves admiration forever!

Paul Cezanne’s Family Background and Growing Up Years

Paul Cezanne was born on January 19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France. Cezanne was raised by two religiously devout parents who had high expectations for him. He studied law at the University of Aix-en-Provence, but his main interest was painting. He had attended the College of Bourbon in 1852.

Cézanne then spent time studying drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk, before attending law school. Despite his family’s wishes, in 1862 he moved to Paris to pursue his dream of becoming a painter. Despite the disapproval of his family, he continued to paint and eventually earned success as an artist.

cezanne french artist

The French Artist | The Great Artist

Paul Cézanne is considered one of the greatest and most influential painters of the late 19th century. His work laid the foundation of the transformation in the concept of artistic creativity from the 19th century to our modern era. His work helped usher in an entirely new world of art in the 20th century.

Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence, France to an affluent family with artistic connections. His father, Louis Auguste Cézanne, was a successful banker. The artist’s father encouraged his son’s interest in art from an early age.

The 1860s

In 1860, Cézanne started his journey in painting in Aix-en-Provence and then furthered his studies in Paris. His initial artwork explored romanticism and classical ideals with the use of dark colors as well as expressive brushwork that was comparable to Delacroix’s (1798–1863). Created with strokes, these early paintings have an impactful presence even today.

As a young man, Cézanne studied under the renowned landscape painter Joseph-Mikael Gibert, but he soon developed his own distinct style of painting.


The 1870s

In the late 1870s, Cézanne began to explore new techniques in painting such as pointillism and divisionism. He was also drawn to more abstracted forms of art and developed a style in which he used geometric shapes and planes to create landscapes that were more representational than realistic.

In 1873, Cézanne exhibited alongside renowned avant-garde artists such as Manet, Monet and Pissarro in the Salon des Refuses – an exhibition of rejected works from the official salon. Despite a negative reaction by critics at first glance, this did not deter Cézanne’s spirit nor discourage his passion for art.

Initially, Cézanne’s paintings that Cézanne exhibited at the first Impressionist exhibition weren’t entirely aligned with the Impressionist strategy of quickly putting dabs of pigment on the canvas. However, eventually his preference for more muted hues gave way to vivid ones and he started producing art outdoors.

Paul Cézanne: 1839-1906: Pioneer of Modernism
  • Hardcover Book
  • Becks-Malorny, Ulrike (Author)
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As early as 1882, Cézanne executed a copious number of landscapes depicting his hometown Aix and L’Estaque, a fishing village close to Marseille. He was busy using these paintings as an exercise in order to develop the framework of depth in his works.

In 1890, Cézanne began to embark on more journeys; he took a five-month trip to Switzerland and in 1894, Monet introduced him to Auguste Rodin and critic Gustave Geffroy. In 1895, Ambroise Vollard gallery hosted his first solo exhibition which was the catalyst for recognition of his originality and innovation. It was during this decade that Cézanne developed his more mature style.

cezanne paintings

Subsequently in 1899, he participated at the annual Salon des Indépendants’ show within Paris for the first time ever. During his last years as an artist, he painted numerous portraits plus group paintings such as The Card Players series and Bathers set that are still celebrated today!

What Did Cezanne Do for Art History?

Paul Cézanne was a pivotal figure in the development of modern art. Paul Cezanne challenged traditional artistic conventions, inspiring Post-Impressionism. He used color, brushstrokes and geometric shapes to create representational but abstract works.

He bridged the gap between Impressionism and Cubism and is known as “the father of modern art.” His dedication has inspired generations of artists. Without Paul Cezanne, art history would undoubtedly look very different today.

cézanne still life

Cezanne’s Legacy

The legacy of Paul Cezanne continues to have a profound impact on the art world today. His unique style of painting has inspired countless artists and his groundbreaking works remain some of the most iconic in art history.

From small-town Aix-en-Provence, France to galleries around the world, Cézanne’s influence can still be felt and admired today. Cézanne’s legacy is a testament to the power of creativity. His works are sure to remain an inspiration for many years, leaving an indelible mark on art history.

Cezanne’s Importance

Paul Cézanne was a major figure in the development of modern art. He challenged traditional artistic conventions and helped to bridge the gap between two major art movements—Impressionism and Cubism.

Paul Cezanne is renowned as the “father of modern art,” and his influence still resonates deeply today. His unparalleled dedication to his work has inspired numerous generations of artists. His legacy continues to shape how we view art.

cezanne still life paintings

Cezanne’s Influence on Future Artists

The influence of Paul Cezanne remains strong in the art world today. Paul Cézanne’s innovative style of painting revolutionized art and connected the movements of Impressionism and Cubism. His work still influences modern artists today and is sure to have a lasting legacy for years to come.

Cezanne’s Continued Legacy

Paul Cézanne achieved a legacy in the art world today. His unique style of painting has inspired countless artists and his groundbreaking works remain some of the most iconic in art history.

From small-town Aix-en-Provence, France to galleries around the world, Cézanne’s influence can still be felt and admired today. His dedication to his craft has inspired generations of artists and will continue to do so for years to come.

Cezanne’s legacy is an enduring reminder of the power of creativity and how one person’s dedication to their craft can change the world.

Cézanne Painted Famous Works

Paul Cezanne is renowned for his iconic works of art, which are characterized by a sense of geometrical structure and composition.

Some of his most famous paintings include “The Bathers” (1885–1906), “Still Life with Apples” (1893–94) and “Mont Sainte-Victoire” (1902–06). Cézanne’s works have been showcased in renowned galleries: National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

He painted portraits of his wife Hortense Fiquet, writer Émile Zola and artist Camille Pissarro. Paul Cézanne’s works continue to be celebrated and admired by art lovers around the globe.

cézanne still life with apples

Ten Paul Cézanne Artworks That Cézanne Executed

Here are ten Cézanne most famous paintings:

1. The Card Players

The Card Players is a series of paintings by Paul Cezanne that depict rural peasants engaged in the game of cards. The paintings are some of the most iconic and well-known works of the Post-Impressionist period.

2. The Bathers

The Bathers is a painting by Cezanne that depicts a group of nude men and women bathing in a river. The painting is considered to be one of the first works of modern art, as it breaks away from traditional ideas about form and composition. With a total of around 140 artworks and sketches, Cézanne created an impressive series devoted to the bathing scenes.

3. Mont Sainte-Victoire

Mont Sainte-Victoire is a series of paintings by Cezanne that depict the mountain of the same name located near his hometown of Aix-en-Provence. The paintings are characterized by their simplified forms and bold use of color.

4. Still Life with Apples and Oranges

Still Life with Apples and Oranges is a painting by Cezanne that depicts, as the title suggests, a still life arrangement of apples and oranges. The painting is notable for its use of light and shadow to create a sense of depth.

5. The Grand Canal, Venice

The Grand Canal, Venice is a painting by Cezanne that depicts the famous waterway in the Italian city of Venice. The painting is notable for its unusual perspective, which makes the canal appear much narrower than it actually is.

Paul Cézanne: 1839-1906: Pioneer of Modernism
  • Hardcover Book
  • Becks-Malorny, Ulrike (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

6. Portrait of Madame Cezanne

Portrait of Madame Cezanne is a painting by Cezanne that depicts his wife, Hortense Fiquet. The portrait is considered to be one of the most intimate and personal works of the artist’s career.

7. Still Life with Pitcher and Bowls of Fruit

Still Life with Pitcher and Bowls of Fruit is a painting by Cezanne that depicts, as the title suggests, a still life arrangement of a pitcher and bowls of fruit. The painting is characterized by its use of geometric shapes and muted colors.

8. Landscape near Aix-en-Provence

Landscape near Aix-en-Provence is a painting by Cezanne that depicts the countryside near his hometown of Aix-en-Provence. The painting is notable for its use of light and shadow to create a sense of depth.

9 . Portrait of Ambroise Vollard

Portrait of Ambroise Vollard is a painting by Paul Cézanne depicting Ambroise Vollard, an art dealer who was instrumental in promoting his work . This portrait Cézanne painted is characterized by large planes and simplified forms .

10 . Still Life with Curtain, Pitcher and Bowls

Still Life with Curtain, Pitcher and Bowls is another still life painting by Cézanne which again demonstrates his mastery in handling light and shadow as well as his skill in creating depth through overlapping planes.

cubism art movement


Did Van Gogh Know Cézanne?

Yes, Vincent Van Gogh was familiar with the work of the French artist, Paul Cézanne and had first seen his works in the Paris Salons of 1882–83. Van Gogh later wrote to his brother Theo about how impressed he was with Cézanne’s paintings, and even made a copy of one of his still lifes.

Where Can I See Cézanne’s Paintings?

Cézanne’s works can be found in some of the world’s most renowned galleries, including the National Gallery in London; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. You can also find his works on display at many smaller, local art galleries.

What Mediums Did Cézanne Use?

Cézanne predominantly used oil paint as his medium of choice, though he did experiment with pastels and watercolors too. He often took inspiration from the scenes around him and favored painting both still life and landscapes. He also produced a number of portraits of his friends and family throughout his career.

paul cezanne still life

What Is Cézanne’s Most Famous Painting?

Cézanne’s most famous painting is The Card Players, which Cézanne began painting in the 1890s. The painting depicts two peasants playing cards and is considered a masterpiece of Post-Impressionist art. It has been widely praised for its bold use of color and is today considered one of the greatest works in modern art.

What Is Cézanne’s Most Expensive Painting?

Cézanne’s most expensive painting is The Card Players which sold for a record $250 million in 2011. It currently holds the title of most expensive painting ever sold at auction. The painting was bought by the Royal Family of Qatar.

Did Van Gogh Copy Cézanne?

Yes, Vincent Van Gogh copied paintings by Paul Cézanne during his time in Paris. He particularly admired Cézanne’s still lifes and landscapes, and would often make copies of his work as a way to study his techniques and to learn from him. He also made several copies of Cézanne’s The Card Players.

Did Cezanne Have Any Artistic Influences?

Yes, Paul Cézanne was influenced by a number of different artists including early Renaissance painters like Giotto and Masaccio, Baroque masters such as Rubens and Caravaggio, as well as 19th century Impressionists like Monet and Degas.

He also looked to the Dutch Golden Age of painting for inspiration, particularly the work of Vermeer. Finally, he was heavily influenced by his friend impressionist painter Camille Pissarro who served as a mentor to him early in his career.

In the mid-1860s, Pissarro and Cézanne formed a friendship that started off as master-disciple, with Pissarro molding Cézanne’s art. However, their landscape painting excursions to Louveciennes and Pontoise over the course of the next decade allowed them to develop an equal partnership in landscape painting.


What Did Picasso Say About Cézanne?

Pablo Picasso famously said of Paul Cézanne that “he was my one and only master”. He praised Cézanne for his innovative use of color and shape and credited him with revolutionizing the art world through his pioneering Post-Impressionist style. Picasso even incorporated many of Paul Cézanne’s techniques into his own works such as cubism and collage.

What Is Cézanne’s Legacy?

Paul Cézanne has left an indelible mark on the world of art and is widely regarded as one of the greatest painters in modern history.

He is credited with revolutionizing the way we think about painting and for pioneering a new style of Post-Impressionism that would go on to influence many modern and contemporary artists.

His works have been highly praised for their bold use of color and light, as well as his unique approach to composition and perspective. Paul Cézanne’s legacy has had a lasting impact on the art world, paving the way for future generations of painters to explore and innovate.

By studying the works of Paul Cézanne, artists have been able to develop new techniques and styles that have shaped the art world in profound ways. His influence can still be seen today in many modern works of art, a testament to his lasting impact on the history of painting.

Why Was Paul Cézanne Considered a Genius?

Paul Cézanne was considered a genius because of his innovative approach to painting. He pushed boundaries and experimented with color, shape, perspective, and composition in ways that were completely new and revolutionary for the time.

In addition to this, he was highly skilled at capturing light and conveying emotion in his works. He also had a unique eye for detail, which combined with his bold use of color made for stunningly beautiful paintings.

All these things combined to make Paul Cézanne one of the most celebrated painters in history and a true genius of modern art.

post impressionism art

What Was Paul Cézanne’s Technique?

Paul Cézanne’s painting technique was unique in that he often used a combination of small brushstrokes and patches of color to create his works. He applied these colors thickly and rapidly, creating a textured surface with vibrant colors and hues.

He also focused on perspective and composition, often depicting scenes with multiple viewpoints to create the illusion of depth and movement.

This technique has since been referred to as Paul Cézanne’s “Parallel Perspective”, which revolutionized the way artists viewed and painted scenes.

Refusing to accept the Impressionist belief that painting is merely a representation of visual perception, Paul Cézanne sought to create an entirely new kind of artistic approach.

In his works, the canvas becomes almost like a mirror in which one’s visual sensations are mirrored as he looks intently and often repeatedly at the chosen subject matter.

What is the Principle of Art of Paul Cézanne?

The principle of art by Paul Cézanne is known as “harmony of opposites”. He believed that all elements in a painting should be in harmony with each other, from the colors to the shapes and forms.

In order to achieve this he employed a technique called “clashing” which involved juxtaposing different shapes, colors and textures to create a visually dynamic painting. This technique has been adopted by many modern artists who use it to create works of art that are both unique and captivating.

Paul Cézanne’s innovative approach to art made him one of the most influential painters in history. His bold use of color, experimentation with composition and perspective, and “harmony of opposites” principles have all had a lasting impact on the art world. His works continue to inspire artists to this day, proving that his genius will live on for many generations to come.

What Are Paul Cézanne Paintings Worth?

Paul Cézanne’s paintings are some of the most valuable and sought-after works in the world. Many of his works have sold for millions of dollars at auction, with one painting, The Card Players, selling for a record $250 million.

Other famous works include Mont Sainte-Victoire, House and Trees and Bathers. However, these works are so rare and valuable that it is difficult to estimate what a Paul Cézanne painting may be worth. Generally speaking, the more famous or iconic the painting is, the higher its value may be.

The legacy of Paul Cézanne will continue to influence artists for many years to come. His groundbreaking approach to painting pushed the boundaries of art, allowing future generations to explore and innovate. His works will no doubt remain some of the most valuable in the world, and are a testament to his genius and lasting impact on art.

post impressionism painting

Why Did Cézanne Paint Still-life?

Paul Cézanne was an accomplished landscape painter, but he is best known for his still-life paintings. He chose to paint still-life as it allowed him to focus on the details and textures of everyday objects and bring them to life in his works.

In these paintings he used color, texture and light to create a vivid scene that appeared to be suspended in time. He also used his “parallel perspective” technique to achieve the illusion of depth and movement, which was a revolutionary approach at the time.

The French painter abandoned the dark palette and strong differences of shadow in his still-life creations, instead opting for a more peaceful range of hues and delicate transitions between tints.

By focusing on still-life Paul Cézanne was able to explore color, texture and light in ways that had never been done before, making him one of the most influential painters of all time.

Why Did Paul Cézanne Paint Still-life With Apples?

One of Paul Cézanne’s most iconic subjects was apples. He painted still-life with apples because he saw them as a metaphor for life’s fleeting beauty and mortality. Apples were also objects of great nature, geometry and simplicity  allowed him to explore form and color in his paintings.

The bright colors of the apples contrasted with the darker background, creating a sense of depth and vibrancy. Paul Cézanne’s still-life paintings of apples conveys his unique vision and perspective on life, having a lasting effect on art.

How Many Still Lifes Did Paul Cézanne Paint?

Throughout his career, Cézanne painted a total of around 200 still-life paintings. These works covered a variety of subjects including fruit, flowers, and everyday objects such as pitchers and vases.

He often used nature in his works, such as painting landscapes or adding trees and plants. His still-life pieces are widely known and timeless, showcasing his lasting genius.

How Did Cézanne Influence Cubism?

Paul Cézanne had a profound influence on the development of Cubism. Klee’s techniques, such as multiple point perspective and flattened forms, were later embraced by Picasso and Braque in their cubist works.

Cézanne also experimented with depicting 3-dimensional objects in 2-dimensional space, which was another concept that was later explored in Cubism. Segantini’s works used multiple point perspective and flattened forms, which later influenced Picasso and Braque’s cubist art.

post impressionist artwork

Was Paul Cézanne a Post Impressionist?

Yes, Paul Cézanne is considered a Post Impressionist artist.

His works featured modernized techniques such as flattened shapes, multiple point perspective and bold colors. These heavily influenced the Post Impressionists.

Although his paintings were not incredibly popular during his lifetime, they eventually gained recognition in the 20th century. Additionally, the pieces are now highly regarded for their revolutionary approach to art.

Cézanne’s works laid the foundation for Post Impressionism, making him one of the most influential artists in history.

Paul Cézanne revolutionized art and pushed the boundaries of what was possible in painting.

How Did Cezanne Differ From Impressionists?

Cezanne’s approach to painting was very different from the Impressionists. The Impressionists wanted to capture fleeting light and color, while Cezanne focused on creating enduring statements about form and structure.

He rejected traditional perspective in favor of his own analysis of how objects interact in space. He flattened his compositions and simplified shapes, using bold, solid color to create a sense of unity among disparate elements.

His work was considered revolutionary at the time, as it rejected traditional academic conventions in favor of an expressive modernity. Cezanne’s influence can be seen in many of the 20th century’s greatest painters, including Picasso and Matisse. His legacy is still evident in contemporary painting, as his approach to color and form remains highly influential.

Cezanne differed from the Impressionists in that they focused on capturing light and atmosphere, while Cezanne sought to artistically express spatial relations and form.

He simplified shapes and flattened his compositions, creating bold arrangements of color that were considered revolutionary at the time. His influence on modern painting is undeniable, and his approach to form and color remains highly influential in contemporary painting.

still life apples

What is the Main Idea of Still Life With Apples?

The main idea of Paul Cezanne’s painting, Still Life with Apples, is to depict a scene of everyday life that is imbued with a sense of harmony and balance. The painting features still life objects such as apples, jugs, and bottles arranged in an orderly yet dynamic composition.

Cezanne’s painting, with its bold colors and flattened perspective, creates a visual harmony and balance that is modern yet timeless. It also displays an underlying mood of serenity reflecting his aim to capture the beauty of ordinary life.

What is Paul Cézanne Best Painting?

Paul Cezanne is widely recognized as one of the greatest painters in history. His works are celebrated for their unique approach to composition and color. It is difficult to name any single painting as his “best,” since there are so many masterpieces among his oeuvre.

Cezanne’s most iconic works: Still Life with Apples, Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Armchair, Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress, Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley, The Card Players and Portrait of Dr. Gachet.

These paintings are renowned for their bold compositions and expressive use of color. This makes them some of the most celebrated works in art history.

the basket of apples

How Many Paintings Does Paul Cézanne Have?

Paul Cezanne is estimated to have created approximately 900 paintings during his career. His works include still lifes, landscapes, and portraits in a wide range of styles. He was especially known for his innovative approach to composition and color, which often featured bold brushwork and flattened perspective.

Cezanne’s influence on modern art is undeniable; his legacy can be seen in contemporary works. The exact number of his paintings remains unknown.

Has Paul Cezanne Ever Made a Self Portrait?

Yes, Paul Cezanne has created a few self-portraits over the course of his career. Self-Portrait with Palette and Pipe, an 1875 work, is iconic.  It hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Cezanne created two other self-portraits: ‘The Reader’ (1877) and ‘Self-Portrait with a Beret’ (1890). His self-portraits reflect his artistic development and provide insight into his mental state during various stages of life.


For anyone who’s a fan of art, or is in need of some inspiration, this blog post was for you. We hope that you enjoyed reading about Paul Cézanne and admiring his works of genius. If you’re feeling crafty and inspired yourself, get your paint by numbers from our store.

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