painter, one of the greatest of the Postimpressionists, whose works and ideas
were influential in the aesthetic development of many 20th-century artists and
art movements, especially Cubism. Cezanne's art, misunderstood and
discredited by the public during most of his life, grew out of Impressionism
and eventually challenged all the conventional values of painting in the 19th
century through its insistence on personal expression and on the integrity of
the painting itself. He has been called the father of modern painting.
Even Cézanne's pictures of people can be regarded as still
lifes, because he demanded that his models sit absolutely still. Sitting for
him was something of a nightmare. Not only was he foul-tempered, he was an
extremely slow painter, probably the reason his subjects always look tired and
sombre. Ambroise Vollard, the dealer who arranged Cezanne's first
one-man show a century ago, posed 115 times for a single painting, sitting
absolutely still "like an apple" and then Cézanne, dissatisfied,
abandoned the picture with only two unpainted spots remaining. He told Vollard
that with luck he would find the correct color and could finish the painting.
"The prospect of this made me tremble," noted Vollard in his biography of the
painter. In the artist's eye, there was no difference between a human sitter
and a bowl of fruit, except that the reflection value and the palette were
different. In the end, both his subjects and his fruit wilted.