Woman with Cezanne's coffeepot

Woman with Cezanne's coffeepot
Woman with Cezanne's coffeepot

Paul Cezanne painted this oil painting which is exhibited at the Orsay Museum in Paris between 1890 and 1895.

Observing the work as a whole, it can be seen that more than painted, we can say that it is a work that is built, and that everything is subordinated to an extremely precise structural organization whose basic elements are, on the one hand, color and on the other the composition of the scene.


Woman with Cezanne's Coffeepot

The figure of the woman is a compact block in the center that occupies a large part of the canvas. But its leading volume is actually determined by the contour, and also by the geometric shapes that delimit its mass. A geometric treatment that is also manifested in the shapes of the folds of the dress, or the contrast between the straight shapes of the background and the curves of the body.

Order and geometry are constant in the creations of thisPost-Impressionist artist, just as it is very usual that in his works the main and most prominent color is blue. A leading role for its amount of surface and also because it stands out especially when superimposed on the thick ochres of the background or compared to the brownish red of the table cloth.

This general setting also means that two relatively small objects within the set have a great presence. We are talking about the cup and the coffee pot painted inwhite tones. These objects on the table are somehow like a painting within a painting, a still life to which Cezanne's pictorial production has so accustomed us, with works such as Still life with plasteror The chest of drawers.

In all those still lifes we see the importance he gives to geometry as a constructive element of space. His still lifes have always been considered the beginning of Cubism, but in this case we can classify the entire painting as pre-Cubist.

But despite this spirit of innovation, at the same time Cezanne is proposing a tribute to a rococo painter that he liked very much, such as Chardin who painted works such as the Blessing of the table, and whose attitude he admired towards everyday life, and how he often painted children with their nannies. Remember for example: The governess.

For this reason, it is not surprising to learn that the woman who served as his model for this work was his old servant, a lady whom Cezanne described in these words: “carved with ax blows” or “almost a man in his beauty. And the truth is that seeing her image, her description is very accurate.

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