a word on art

Cezanne at The Tate Modern

“I point the way. Others will come after.”

-Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) is undoubtedly considered as one of the most highly regarded artists of the late nineteenth century, and his legacy continues into the present day. The Tate Modern has created a phenomenal 11-room exhibition with a vast collection of his works, as well as personal items and sketch books. The first half of the exhibition focuses on Cezanne in the context of his time; exploring his life, relationships, and the creative circle in which he was surrounded. Within the second half of the exhibition, the focus is on particular themes, which include his still lifes and his studies of bathers.

In the first room I was captured by the painting ‘The Basket of Apples’, which was painted circa 1893. This painting contains the largest number of apples in any of his paintings. The apples in the painting were said to have grown locally and the pottery was made from local clay, illustrating his love for his hometown. The tilted table allows for two perspectives and is one of the most iconic artworks of the Post-Impressionist movement.

The painting ‘Scipio’, situated in the second room, is one of many paintings by Cezanne that was bought by Claude Monet. The portrait is one of Cezanne’s early works, painted between 1866-8. The subject is a man named Scipio, who was a professional model at the Académie Suisse. It is believed that he was a former slave in the US; Cezanne and his friends were aware of and involved in anti-slavery debates.