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June 15, 2011

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne, the greatest Post-Impressionist master, was born in Aix-en Provence. Cezanne, whose banker father wanted him to study law, arrived in Paris in 1861.
While studying there, he met Pissarro who was to influence him greatly. Cezanne lived in Paris until diabetes forced him to retire permanently to Aix. Early in his career, his paintings were romantic or baroque in style, dark in color, and classical in subject. During his Impressionist period (1872-79) his palette lightened and, following his friend Pisarro’s example, he simplified his approach to nature. None of Cézanne's works are the result of accident. His early works were not appreciated by many but Cezanne did not care. He told people he did not paint for the admiration of idiots but for his pursuit of the truth in his work. He painted and repainted, changed brushstrokes and deliberately falsified perspective to achieve a timeless landscape, and a solidity of form. It has been said that modern art can be either directly or indirectly traced to Cézanne. Cezanne inspired many great artists who came after him and they in turn, have influenced countless others. Cézanne finally began to receive some public recognition in 1895 and for the remaining eleven years of his life he enjoyed both public and private attention. He continued to paint until six days before he died of pneumonia on October 22, 1906.

It has been said by the ancients that rank and reward have no place for a person who is one with Tao. We should not seek fame, fortune, or admiration. If it finds us, we must remain humble. Just as Cezanne’s style and palette changed over the years, we too will find change. We must take the ‘paint’ we have and try to create the most beautiful thing we can.