Thursday, 23 February 2012

Cézanne’s paintings in the Cardiff art gallery

Three oil paintings by Cezanne are in the permanent collection of the Cardiff art gallery and museum.

Provencal landscape - Oil on canvas by Paul Cezanne (about 1887)

The composition is quite simple, yet very effective. The painting is divided in thirds. The warm colours of the bare ground in the foreground contrast with the cool blue sky. The palette is typical of Cezanne and of the real colours of nature in the South of France. The brushwork is vigourous.

The Francois Zola Dam - Oil on canvas by Paul Cezanne (about 1879)

Paul Gaugin was the first owner of this painting. The S shaped composition leads the eye towards the horizon. The Mount Sainte-Victoire, visible in the background, is a stapple feature in Cezanne’s work.

The Francois Zola Dam - Oil on canvas by Paul Cezanne (Detail)

The brushwork turns this painting in the direction of abstract. Cezanne hatched the patches of colour onto the canvas to bring the landscape to life with a mosaic of strong colours.

Still Life with Teapot – Oil on canvas by Paul Cezanne

This still life was painted around 1902. The palette of colours used in this still life painting is similar to the one the artist uses for its landscape paintings. The grey background is in fact created by a pattern of brushstrokes of different colours: muted blues, Sienna and greens are visible at close range but merge into a rich grey from afar.

There is an emphasis on composition with the roundness of the teapot echoing the roundness of the apples. There are many still life paintings by Cezanne featuring this wooden table, some folded fabric and apples. He was painting very slowly and must have liked the control that setting your own still life gives you.


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