Archive for September 23rd, 2008

A Sick Cat-sketchbook


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Paul Cezanne(1839-1906)
Cezanne as was seen outward was no more the real than his paintings. A rough bullying manner belied a shy and sensitive heart: he shrank from any physical contact. He was suspicious of men and filled with irrational fear over many things, and he changed his lodgings constantly. It made one friend who had not seen Paul for sometime ask,”where are you living now?”
“Oh I live in a house, in a street-a long way off,”stammered Cezanne and hurried off.
The violent dramatic style of his early years took a turn after coming under the influence of Pissarro a leading Impressionist at that time.
Cezanne worked very slow which one old peasant noted while he by chance came upon Pissarro and Paul at work. After watching them for a while the old peasant remarked to Pissarro, ”Well sir, you have an assistant here who does absolutely nothing.”
He started as an impressionist but his fame rests in his breaking away from Impressionism. He argued that the basis of nature is an organization of simple geometric elements. ‘Treat nature by the cylinders,the sphere and the cone.”was his dictum. In Cubism Picasso stretched that point furthur.
In 1895 Ambroise Vollard a pioneer art dealer in Paris gave him his first one man show in his gallery. The year he sat for a portrait and found the artist too slow for his liking. Often he got fidgety or fell asleep whereupon Paul had to admonish him, ”You should sit like an apple, an apple does not move.” After many sittings more than hundreds or so Cezanne watching his painting had to admit,”I’m not displeased with the shirt-front.”

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