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Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

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Mont Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cézanne Enlarge

Mont Sainte-Victoire
(Paul Cézanne, 1904, Public domain)

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

Considered one of the first modernistic painters, Frenchman Paul Cézanne undertook, at the end of the 19th Century, an ambitious project to redefine painting. To do so, the artist completely withdrew to pursue his pictorial research without any external influences, then determined that it is the two dimensional aspect of painting which confers on it its peculiarity.

While the majority of his predecessors tried to make the observer forget that he was in front of a canvas, Cézanne, on the contrary, did everything in his power to constantly remind him of it. He equally stressed the necessity of reinventing a manner of representing the world, by considering, among others, nature as a form to be geometrically transcribed.

He used every possible trick to confuse perspective to make the viewer aware of the flatness of the painting, in the same way he sought to express volumes using just one color, without creating atmospheric or luminous effects.

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