Cézanne's chest of drawers

Cézanne's chest of drawers
Cézanne's chest of drawers

This Still Life on the Chest of Drawers was made by Cézanne between 1883 and 1887 and is now part of the collection of the Bavarian National Museum from the German city of Munich.

As in many other of his still lifes, to which the painter was so fond, he does not care excessively about being realistic in the sense established by Renaissance painting or by the still lifes of flamenco art. It could be said that he seeks a realism “in his own way”. That is to say, he poses the fruits that he sees, and for this he uses the geometrization formed by the planes of each body, in which he faces lights and shadows.

Cezanne's chest of drawers

Cézanne's chest of drawers

And if the form based on geometry is important, in which is the germ of the future cubist painting, we must also talk about the treatment of color byPaul Cézanne. And surely the most interesting thing is his radicalism, something that leads him to compose his works without drawing.

He places each object in space relating it to the environment through its different faces, in which there are different colors or tones. In this way, he does not need a continuous line to delimit the objects he presents to us.

Furthermore, each plane of these objects individualizes it, so that there are facets that are related to each other and others are contrasted, until in the end they complement each other andthey form a whole. For that reason you sometimes create sharp edges on objects or you can use a discontinuous drawing.

That reason also helps us understand some deformities that are common in the paintings of this post-impressionist artist. Organizing the frame space by color planes makes it impossible to match a single linear projection, which would rely on more traditional perspectives and vanishing points.

And it is that for him, color has its own logic and functioning, and he as a painter must understand that logic, and forget in part that of our brain. The important thing is to know how to capture the internal architecture of the painting, only in this way he manages to give life to his scenes, which on the other hand and paradoxically are still lifes. But Cézanne thinks it's more important to represent those shapes than the ones we actually see, so it doesn't matter to him at all that there are deformations. On the contrary, he considers that some of them are absolutely vital to achieve the harmony of the whole

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