He participated in Impressionism, studied with Pisarro but moved away from the Impressionists fluid use of color toward a more structred composition and intense, satured color. A son of Provence, Cezanne made that part of France his own, creating works that convey a powerful sense of place but that are also universal.
After Cézanne died in 1906, his paintings were exhibited in Paris in a large museum-like retrospective in September 1907. The 1907 Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d'Automne greatly affected the direction that the avant-garde in Paris took, lending credence to his position as one of the most influential artists of the 19th century and to the advent of Cubism.
Inspired by Cézanne, two of the younger artists wrote: "Cézanne is one of the greatest of those who changed the course of art history . . . From him we have learned that to alter the coloring of an object is to alter its structure. His work proves without doubt that painting is not—or not any longer—the art of imitating an object by lines and colors, but of giving plastic [solid] form to our nature.” (Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger in Du "Cubisme", 1912)
Comprehensive biography including a slideshow with proper analysis on each painting featured: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pcez/hd_pcez.htm
The complete works: http://www.paul-cezanne.org