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Cézanne on Paper


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Although he’s best known for his lush, technically miraculous oil paintings, Paul Cézanne held his sketchbook near and dear. In a 1904 letter to the Fauvist painter Charles Camoin, Cézanne wrote, “Drawing is merely the configuration of what you see.” Thousands of his works on paper have survived. More than two hundred fifty of these rarely shown pieces form the basis of “Cézanne Drawing,” which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art through September 25. A selection of images from the show appears below.

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Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Blue Pot, 1900–06, pencil and watercolor on paper, 19 × 24 7/8″. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Bathers (Baigneurs), 1885–90, watercolor and pencil on wove paper, 5 × 8 1/8″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lillie P. Bliss Collection. Photo © 2021 MoMA, NY.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Forest Landscape, 1904–06, pencil and watercolor on paper, 18 5/8 × 23 5/8″. Private collection.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire vue des Lauves), 1902–06, watercolor and pencil on wove paper, 16 3/4 x 21 3/8″. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller. Photo © 2021 MoMA, NY.

 

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Paul Cézanne. Still Life with Cut Watermelon (Nature morte avec pastèque entamée), ca. 1900, pencil and watercolor on paper, 12 3/8 × 19 1/8″. Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Beyeler Collection. Photo: Peter Schibli.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Self-Portrait and Apple (Autoportrait et pomme), 1880–84, pencil on paper, 6 7/8 × 9 1/8″. Cincinnati Art Museum. Gift of Miss Emily Poole. Bridgeman Images.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Study of a Skull (Étude de crâne), 1902–04, pencil and watercolor on paper, 9 × 12 1/4″. Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation (on extended loan to the Princeton University Art Museum). The Henry and Rose Pearlman Collection / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Bruce M. White.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Rocks Near the Château Noir (Rochers près des grottes au-dessus de Château Noir), 1895–1900, watercolor on paper, 18 1/4 × 12″. Private collection.

 

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Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit (La Bouteille de cognac), 1906, pencil and watercolor on paper, 18 7/8 × 24 5/8″. Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation (on extended loan to the Princeton University Art Museum). The Henry and Rose Pearlman Collection / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Bruce M. White.

 

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Paul Cézanne, The Apotheosis of Delacroix, 1878–80 (completed later), pencil, ink, and watercolor on wove paper, with a strip added at the bottom, 7 7/8 × 9 1/4″. The British Museum, London © The Trustees of the British Museum.

 

Cézanne Drawing” will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art through September 25.

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Michael Neff
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