The Musée d’Orsay is hosting the first ever exhibition dedicated to portraits by Paul Cézanne. As the first retrospective devoted to this subject, this ambitious project hinges around five large sections. The first presents the young painter’s earliest portraits, those of his father and his artist friends whom he met in “modern” Paris and, above all, in Aix-en-Provence. The portraits of the second section highlight the painter’s “couillard” style. Then there is his impressionist period where the subtle influence of painters such as Pissarro and Degas can be seen. Finally, the last two rooms of the exhibition provide an opportunity to examine his series of portraits. These multiple variations on a single sitter demonstrate Cézanne’s extraordinary capacity to call the purpose of a portrait into question, as well as its underlying nature, and establish a new style of painting that was to inspire later generations.
- September 25, 2017 Initial release