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Paul Cézanne

发表于 5-29-2024 15:08:52 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 6-9-2024 09:43 编辑

Mary Tompkins Lewis, Provençal Perspectives; The Phillips Collection exhibits two freshly conserved Cezanne paintings. Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2024, at page A13.
https://www.wsj.com/arts-culture ... collection-e1d487c3


(i) This is a review on an exhibition: Up Close with Paul Cezanne. The Phillips Collection, Apr 18-July 14, 2024.
https://www.phillipscollection.o ... -close-paul-cezanne
("The exhibition unveils two recently conserved works by French Post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire (1886-87) and Self-Portrait (1878-80), major paintings that are part of The Phillips Collection’s world-renowned holdings by the revered artist")
(ii) The WSJ exhibition review is poorly written, so you need only browse it, if you read it at all.
(iii) The Phillips Collection
("founded by Duncan Phillips and [wife] Marjorie Acker Phillips * * * The Phillips Collection, opened in 1921, is America's first museum of modern art. Featuring a permanent collection of nearly 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modern artists")

Duncan's maternal grandfather, James Laughlin, which co-founded Jones and Laughlin Steel Company (1852-1968) that "provided the most able competition to the Carnegie Steel Company in the vicinity of Pittsburgh."

(A) Paul Cezanne (between 1886 and 1887), Mont Sainte-Victoire. The Phillips Collection
https://www.phillipscollection.o ... ont-sainte-victoire
(Oil on canvas)
(B) Montagne Sainte-Victoire

What does the mountain name mean?  See Cézanne and Beyond. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb 26–May 31, 2009
("Mont Sainte-Victoire is a mountain in Provence (pro-VAHNCE), the region in southeastern France where Cézanne was born and spent most of his life. It can be seen from a hillside near a studio called Les Lauves (lay loave) that Cézanne built in 1902. The mountain's name, which translates as 'Mountain of Holy Victory,' was associated with a celebrated victory by Provence's ancient Roman inhabitants against an invading army. Cézanne painted more than sixty versions of what he called 'his' mountain, yet none of the paintings looks exactly the same")

The two sets of parentheses signal pronunciations.
(ii) Paul Cezanne (between 1878 and 1880), Self-Portrait. The Phillips Collection
(Oil on canvas; "Cezanne painted scores of self-portraits, many of them in exactly this pose and on canvases of about the same size, recording his appearance and self-image as well as his progress as a painter. In this powerfully modeled portrait, painted when he was about forty years old")

(A) Paul Cézanne
(1839 – 1906 (born and died in Aix-en-Provence); "was a French Post-Impressionist painter * * * Cézanne arrived at a new pictorial language through intensive examination of Impressionist forms of expression. * * * Cézanne was primarily concerned with watercolour painting in his late work, as he realized that the specific application of his method could be particularly evident in this medium. The late watercolours also had an effect on his oil paintings * * * Cézanne's works were rejected numerous times by the official Salon in Paris and ridiculed by art critics * * * In the circle of the Impressionists, however, Cézanne was given special recognition; Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas spoke enthusiastically about his work")

section 5 Cézanne's Provence: "During their lifetime, most of the residents of Aix mocked their fellow citizen Cézanne, * * * the son of their city.

Search this Wiki page with self-portrait.
(B) Provence
("extends from the left bank [as in Seine river, one looks downstream] of the lower Rhône to the west to the Italian border to the east * * * capital in Aix-en-Provence"/ section 1 Etymology)

(section 1 History: "Aix (Aquae Sextiae) was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs")  

The "Aquae Sextiae" is italicized because the term is Latin (not English). One will not appreciate significance of this quotation until he reads
What does 'aix' mean in some French place-names? Quora, undated
https://www.quora.com/What-does- ... -French-place-names
("The Wikipedia entry for Aix-en-Provence says that 'aix' comes from Aquae Sextiae, or 'the waters of Sextius.' Around 123 BCE, the Roman Consul Sextius Calvinus named the hot springs associated with that city for himself": Dec 31, 2011)
(C) In Sextius Calvinus, Sextius was given name (and Calvinus surname). But Sextius had begun as a surname: "The nomen [read: surname] Sextius is a patronymic [passing down from father to children] surname, derived from the praenomen [read: given name] Sextus, meaning 'sixth [born' ")
en.wikipedai.org for "Sextia gens."
(ii) Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) invented Impressionism.
(iii) Post-Impressionism
("was a predominantly French art movement that developed roughly between 1886 and 1905, from the last Impressionist exhibition to the birth of Fauvism. Post-Impressionism emerged as a reaction against Impressionists' concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour. * * * The movement's principal artists were Paul Cézanne (known as the father of Post-Impressionism), Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat.   The term Post-Impressionism was first used by art critic Roger Fry in 1906. * * * The Post-Impressionists were dissatisfied with what they felt was the triviality of subject matter and the loss of structure in Impressionist paintings, though they did not agree on the way forward")

Return to Wikipedia for Paul Cézanne and pay attention to lighting, and you will concur that his paintings differ from those of Monet.

Duncan Phillips (1886-1966), the collector, critic and philanthropist whose pioneering interests in Impressionist and modernist masters helped to foster an American audience for their work, revered the art of the French painter Paul Cezanne (1839-1906). The trove that makes up the “Cezanne unit” (the collector’s term for artist groupings) at the Phillips Collection in Washington reveals his clear grasp of the painter’s stylistic development, and the unique approach each of the genres commanded in his work.

Two of those canvases—the first Phillips would collect by the artist—have recently undergone conservation, and are the focus of “Up Close With Paul Cezanne,” a splendid special installation (through July 14) organized by the museum’s associate curator Renee Maurer and Elizabeth Steele, the head of conservation. Together with a handful of other Cezanne canvases he acquired, they represent the singular vision and aesthetic mastery of the hugely consequential artist from Aix-en-Provence whose paintings became the cornerstone of the Phillips Collection.

The evolution of Phillips’s artistic sensibility can be gleaned from his changing appraisal of Cezanne’s work. After encountering his painting at the 1913 Armory Show, Phillips pronounced Cezanne an “unbalanced fanatic” who had helped to initiate the “decadence” of modern art. By 1925, however, reflecting the wave of critical approval Cezanne’s art now enjoyed and his own increasingly educated eye, Phillips praised the artist’s “towering genius” and also acquired his “Mont Sainte-Victoire” (1886-87), which featured one of Cezanne’s most recognizable Provençal motifs. In 1928, encouraged by the influential German art historian Julius Meier-Graefe, Phillips purchased Cezanne’s “Self-Portrait” (c. 1877), the first likeness of the painter to hang in an American museum. A large vitrine in the show exhibits the collector’s engaging correspondence with dealers, scholars and fellow Cezanne adherents, and draws us wonderfully into the hunt.

As meticulously documented, the historically poor condition of Cezanne’s evocative, richly toned “Self-Portrait” has long obscured its expressive power and virtuosity. Layers of grime and darkened varnish that had flattened the composition over time have now been removed, and areas of paint loss—due, in part, to haphazard handling in the artist’s studio—restored. The effect is transformative. The canvas, protected by a new single coating of varnish, reveals Cezanne’s vibrant, original palette and energetic brushwork, while further underscoring the collector’s keen critical assessment. Built up with swipes of a paint-laden brush or unblended color smears of a palette-knife that recall the painter’s impassioned earlier works, it also exhibits, in “the subtle, solid modeling of that head of an old lion of a man,” as Phillips deftly perceived, a sense of restraint that heralded the artist’s incipient classicism. The painting would become the stuff of legend: Phillips reportedly told his museum registrar to grab it alone and run in case of a fire.

Happily, the view of Mont Sainte-Victoire that initiated the museum’s Cezanne unit has experienced less damage. As before-and-after photographs show, its sparingly painted surface of patchwork colored strokes, where bare areas of white canvas serve to illuminate the whole, now sparkles, as it must have once in the painter’s studio.  Likewise, infrared imaging of the canvas’s underlying layers reveals preliminary sketches of its  harmonious composition, where graceful pine trees frame the foreground and align with the distant contour of the mountain. Phillips would later expound on the painting’s “perfect equilibrium,” and marvel at its balance of symmetry and solidity that gave life and movement to its space. His “Mont Sainte-Victoire” came to represent for the collector (as it had for the artist) Cezanne’s profound sense of place in Provence, and in the tradition of classical French painting, especially that of Claude Lorrain. Phillips’s ambitious campaign to explore the roots of modernism in the art of the past, a radical approach that he hoped would help people to see its beauty as true artists could, was rarely better served.

Unlike many of his peers, who specialized in one or two thematic areas, Cezanne tackled them all, and this too shaped the array of paintings Phillips assembled. Cezanne’s “Self-Portrait” would be joined by the artist’s late “Seated Woman in Blue” (1902-04), a gorgeous, heavily-impastoed canvas whose moody figural subject is now uncertain but whose pictorial punch is unquestionable. In his final years, Cezanne was recognized as the consummate French master of still-life painting, as also manifested here in the exquisite, monumental “Ginger Pot With Pomegranate and Pears” (1890-93), a gift to the collector from a relative and once owned by Claude Monet, who hung it in his bedroom in Giverny. The last Cezanne that Phillips acquired (in 1955), “The Garden at Les Lauves” (c. 1906), captures most poignantly, however, the boldness and brilliance of the painter and collector alike in a landscape so spare in its effects as to seem unfinished. Jabbing strokes of radiant color, touches of thin wash, dashed lines and broad areas of exposed canvas depict, with dazzling economy, his view of Aix in an image of nature that future artists would enshrine in their increasingly abstract work and that Phillips did with aplomb in his museum.

Ms. Lewis, who taught art history for many years at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., writes about art for the Journal and other publications.


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