Cezanne Still Life

Cezanne Still Life
Cezanne Still Life

As it happens with many other subjects, the world of Fine Arts or Plastic Arts is also subject to an arrangement, so that a hierarchy is established between one discipline or another; even within the pictorial field itself, an order of importance has been established for the various artistic genres so that throughout history the importance given to genre painting was not the same as still life.

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The still life has been considered the least prestigious genre of painting, in the opinion of the French academics of the 7th century, still life painting was simpler than the others since the artist limited himself to capturing a copy of the reality. However some artists claimed the power and strength of the still life and one of them was the post-impressionist artist Paul Cezanne,that concerns us here.

Cezanne (1839 – 1096) is one of the best representatives of post-impressionist aesthetics and his artistic production, together with that of some of his colleagues such as Gauguin or Van Gogh, will give way to the new artistic conceptions developed by the avant-gardes in the 20th century. At a time when Impressionist painting was concerned only with lighting effects, Paul Cezanne's still life works reveled in well-defined shapes and careful compositions.

Perhaps these compositions are the moststriking of his still lifes, no element in Cezanne's works is left to chance but rather everything is deeply studied and millimetred. Each of the elements that form a set on his canvas has its own defined space and it could not be placed anywhere else in the composition. On the other hand, we must highlight how the forms that Cezanne introduces in his canvases already tend towards simple volumes -following that same line of volumetric simplification Picasso and Braque reached cubism- which will have their maximum scope in works of the last stage of the artist such as The mountain of Santa Victoria.

In this way we can point out some of the most outstanding examples of still lifes made by Cezanne, such as Still Life with Onions in which we can observe a combination of soft tones that produces great harmony. On the canvas the composition is centered on the left of the painting so that it looks like a photographic approach rather than a painterly one.

At the end of the 19th century the artist painted what would become his most prominent and well-known Still Life, Still Life with Oranges and Apples. In the work, the colorist painted the wall tapestry it seems to establish a two-dimensional composition that the artist breaks with the white tablecloth with large folds that manages to give depth to the scene. On this occasion we can see how this simplification of shapes has been taken to the extreme with the oranges that are on the fruit bowl, these are just rounded shapes that we recognize precisely thanks to the color and not theform.

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