Paul Cezanne Essay

806 words - 3 pages

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) was a revolutionary painter of the late 19th century. His work could not be contained within one movement of modern art. Cezanne painted during the height of the Impressionists movement, though he did not hit the pinnacle of his career until he became one of the founders of the Post-Impressionist movement. His style of painting has inspired generations of artists to this day. His 1895-1900, Post-Impressionist, still life, Table, Napkin, and Fruit, (Un coin de Table) oil painting comes from his collection of still-lifes. The Barnes Foundation, in Merion, Pennsylvania, houses this remarkable painting. Cezanne encapsulates the simplicity of a bowl of peaches and pears on a table and turns it into a major work of the Post-Impressionist period.
When it was created, Cezanne was progressing into a more mature style. He had complete control over the composition and the subject in his still lives, unlike his earlier works of landscapes and portraits. Within the composition of his still lifes, the forms of the fruit seem somewhat haphazard and abstract, though Cezanne is assiduous in their placement within the canvas. These modifications of the fruit are illustrated in Un coin de Table where he breaks down each form into their basic geometric shape. The three most prominent shapes he used in this painting were the sphere, the cone, and the rectangle.
When viewing this painting, it could be understood that the onlooker might first focus on the realistic right, lower corner of the canvas. The fruit and the corner of the table are clearly defined. In contrast to the non-descript somewhat blurry left corner of the canvas where the shapes and fruit are not easily recognizable. The added heaviness to the right corner can also be attributed to the lighting effects coming from behind him when he was painting. Thus making one’s focus shift to the unambiguous fruit in the white bowl. Cezanne created an asymmetrical balance on the tabletop. That is visually weighted in the right corner of the canvas because of the placement of the fruit within the light bowl. In the background, he added the window frames creating a counter balance with right angles, insuring equal distribution of visual movement inside the canvas. The fruit in Cezanne’s painting are structured with a degree of both volume and flatness. This distortion of both the objects and...

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