Paul Cézanne, a son of Provence, Post-Impressionist moved at whole generation of painters towards early 20th century Cubism. Picasso referred to him as his one and only master, the father of us all. And the connection to wine? Rosé! The wine symbolises the timeless way of life in Provence, Cézanne’s paintings have inspired many us all to travel to the South of France and discover a taste for Rosé.
The painting above was shown 1895 in Paris in the gallery of Ambroise Vollard and was the first work that Cézanne had exhibited in almost 20 years.
Cézanne (1839-1906) struggled with his banker father to become a painter. But in 1861 he was finally able to go to Paris. Rejected by the Paris Salon and the Salon des Refusés he returned home, depressed and moody. Only to go back to Paris to escape the Franco-Prussian war. There, the friendship with Camille Pissarro gave him the determination to carry on painting. Finally he returned to his beloved Provence in 1878 and stayed there for the rest of his life. He never exhibited his paintings in Paris, until The Basket of Apples. Take a close look and you will detect hard edges emerging; the white table cloth is sharp angular. The apples seem nothing more than red-orange balls. The basket is tilted forward, but we cannot see any support. The yellow of the loaves of bread adds more colour and sets off the yellow on the apples. And then there are the short block strokes so typical for Cézanne.
His nature was somewhat abstracted and hard-edged, not unlike other post-impressionists, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.
So Cézanne, who left Paris to return to his roots, worked for years, not bothering to show work at all, is the father of all of those modern painters who came after. He is an inspiration to all those who simply follow their own path. Reminds me a bit of winegrowers…