Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cezanne at the Getty

Of course, the Getty is filled with thousands of pieces of art but for me, it was worth visiting for two painters. These are men that (and millions of other people) consider our special masters. The first is Cezanne, the second, Van Gogh.

During the last thirty years of his life, Paul C├ęzanne painted the same objects--the green vase, the rum bottle, the ginger pot, and the apples--over and over again. His interest was not in the objects themselves but in using them to experiment with shape, color, and lighting. He arranged his still lifes so that everything locked together. Edges of objects run into each other; for example, a black arabesque seemingly escapes from the blue cloth to capture an apple in the center; the sinuous curves of the blue ginger pot's rattan straps merge with other straps on the body of the bottle behind. Giving form and mass to objects through the juxtaposition of brushstrokes and carefully balanced colors and textures, he gave the painting a sense of comforting stability. 

Cezanne, Still life with apples. French, 1893 - 1894
Oil on canvas. 25 3/4 x 32 1/8 in.


A Cuban In London said...

One of my favourite painters and yes I have noticed that aspect in his work. Thanks for your professional take on it.

by the way, I didn't know that the dog situation was so bad in your neck of the woods. It's pretty bad in the UK. Although I wrote that post before Christmas this morning the BBC had a news item on yet another child who got mauled by a dog accidentally.

Greetings from London.

Zoomie said...

I'm interested in the ginger pot - I think I have one and didn't know it. Beautiful painting - he really was amazing.

namastenancy said...

The Getty thoughtfully provides lots of seats in the galleries. I sat in front of it for ages, marveling at the subtle variations in color as well as the composition. This painting and the Van Gogh are probably the ones that I will remember the best.