Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Cézanne. . .

One of my favorite painters, Paul Cézanne, was born on this day in 1839.

The Drinker
Oil on canvas
18 x 14 3/4 in. (45.7 x 37.5 cm)
The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania

Wikipedia states that Cézanne "laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne "is the father of us all" cannot be easily dismissed."

Last Spring, thanks to my extraordinary friend Jacquie, I had the phenomenal experience of spending the Easter afternoon visiting the Barnes Foundation in Merion (a community contiguous to Philadelphia). The Barnes Foundation hosts the largest collection of impressionistic painting in the world worth an estimated 6 billion dollars including 181 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 69 by Paul Cézanne, and 59 by Henri Matisse, as well as numerous other masters, including George de Chirico, Paul Gauguin, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Edouard Manet, Amedeo Modigliani, Jean Hugo, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Maurice Utrillo, Vincent Van Gogh, Maurice Prendergast, and a variety of African and early American primitive artworks.

Truly, it was an amazing experience as it was my first visit there. I highly suggest that if the opportunity arises for you to visit this amazing collection in this breathtakingly beautiful house, that you do so - especially before the collection moves in 2012 to its new, and controversial, location. . .

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