Over a century ago, after trying to make his way as an artist in Paris and elsewhere, Paul Cézanne returned to his childhood surroundings. He was to stay there for the rest of his life, convinced that nowhere else could he find what he sought. This land of intense sensations impacted with the creative artist on a quest for truth, and the result was an astonishingly powerful body of work. Cézanne’s pictures, steeped in the light and atmosphere of the Provençal landscape around Aix, put the city on the international map as a site of unique value for its associations with the output of a genius. Aix-en-Provence and Cézanne have become inseparable.
The exhibition Cézanne in Provence features 117 of the artist’s works, with 80 oil paintings (including The Large Bathers from the National Gallery, London, and numerous versions of Sainte-Victoire) and 30 water colors. All the paintings are closely associated with localities in and near Aix, making the event a celebration of Cézanne’s Provence – a splendid proof that his universal genius, which anticipated Cubism, Fauvism and abstract art, was firmly and inevitably rooted in his native land.
The Cézanne in Provence
exhibition is a co-production by the musée Granet/Communauté du Pays d’Aix
, la Réunion des musées nationaux
, and has been organized jointly with the National Gallery of Art
in Washington where the exhibition has been presented from 29 January to 7 May 2006. This exhibition has been recognized as being of national interest by the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication/Direction des musées de France. As a result, it benefits from an exceptional financial support from the State. The principal curators of the exhibition are Philip Conisbee, senior curator of European paintings, National Gallery of Art - Washington, and Denis Coutagne, principal curator of the musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence. The exhibition catalog has been published jointly.