Gardon Reflections #3, 18x24 inches, Acrylic, ©Lynn Goldstein, Inspired by trip to France in 2013, Sold
While teaching a workshop in southern France in 2013, I traveled to Aix en Provence to visit Paul Cezanne's studio. For me, this visit was like a pilgrimage because I have felt transported spiritually by viewing Cezanne's work for years.
We were warned that no photographs were allowed. There were stern women standing guard. If a camera or phone was whipped out of a bag or pocket the offender was roundly chastised in a barrage of disparaging French.
I don't generally break rules of this nature. Thing is, something caught my eye that was begging to be photographed. While one of my students shielded my phone from view, I snapped the shot. There was a letter that Cezanne had sent to his friend Claude Monet, and I wanted to remember what was written. I wish I had gotten a photo of the letter in French, but realized that I should cut my losses and get what I could. Here is the photo that I took of the letter, translated into English:
As you can see, in his letter, Cezanne discloses his displeasure with a piece on which he was working. More importantly, he thanks his fellow artist friend, Claude Monet, for his moral support. This is something that we all need, and I count myself fortunate to have wonderful friends that are walking the same path that I am in making art. I receive support from them that I treasure.
Isn't it wonderful to learn unexpected things from those whose work inspires us? Isn't it even more wonderful to have the support of understanding friends?
Here are a few of my favorites from Cezanne Portraits at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Boy in a Red Waistcoat, Paul Cezanne, 1888-1889
Cezanne is best known for his still life and landscape painting. I think that perhaps the reason that this piece appeals to me so much is that, although it is a portrait, I can see the landscape qualities in the composition. Do you see the similarities to a tree in the pose of the adolescent here? The background drapery even has a tree trunk quality to it. The complimentary color scheme of green and red is utilized to great effect as well.
Man in a Blue Smock, Paul Cezanne, 1897
This painting was riveting to me. I tend to gravitate to complimentary color schemes and this painting is no exception, with blue and orange dominating. Again, their are landscape elements present in this piece. Cezanne utilized a painted screen that he had made in the past as the background.
5/1/2018 10:22:05 am
I just want to thank you for continuing to send me your fine messages.
5/1/2018 06:19:04 pm
Thanks for reading my emails and blog posts, Deet. We met in my studio in Virginia. I believe it was around 2010 or 2011.
5/1/2018 12:26:35 pm
Lynn, thank you for this. I did a semester course in art school on Cezanne...he was an interesting figure. I hope to get to DC in time to see this exhibit next month. Will be in touch, Cheryl
5/1/2018 06:20:41 pm
Hi Cheryl, I would have loved to study Cezanne for a semester. He was not a particularly pleasant guy from what I understand, but I just love his work. It is an exhibition worth seeing. YES! please let me know when you are in town. We need a catch up. Sending a hug, Lynn
Thanks, Lynn, for the article about Cezanne. I never had art history classes but love reading about different artists. I haven't had the pleasure of reading about Cezanne. Your article has brought up some questions I am interested in finding the answers to.
5/1/2018 06:22:26 pm
Hi Mickey, Thanks for reading my blog post and taking the time to comment. I love reading about artists too, and of course going to see their work! What a pleasure.
5/1/2018 07:37:00 pm
I don't know why but of all of the paintings of yours that I have seen, Garden Reflections absolutely resonated with me, next to Panama skies this is now my favorite
5/3/2018 06:12:01 pm
Thanks so much Paula. Glad that you liked Gardon Reflections. When I taught the workshop in southern France, we stayed in a house that had once been an old mill. The river painted was not far from the house. In fact, you could hear the water flowing from the house. It was a beautiful river, loaded with stones that had mica in them, so they sparkled. A great memory. Glad that you like Panama Skies too. That was another great memory! Thanks again. I truly appreciate your taking the time to comment.
5/1/2018 09:32:40 pm
Nice post. I had no idea you were such a scofflaw -- haha!
5/3/2018 06:13:00 pm
Thanks for the compliment, Trisha! I bet you did know that I was a scofflaw!! Have you been to Cezanne's studio? You would love it, I'm sure.
5/4/2018 02:27:34 pm
Garden Reflections #3 is breathtaking.
5/6/2018 11:14:16 am
Thanks for your kind words regarding Gardon Reflections. I was captivated with the shadow play on the water juxtaposed with the reflections. The Gardon River is in southern France and it is beautiful. While there teaching a workshop in 2013, the old house where we stayed was near the river. In fact, you could hear the rushing waters from the home that was perched on the hillside. There were gigantic boulders in the river, and small stones too that had mica in them, so they sparkled in the sun. I did read the review by Philip Kennecott of the Cezanne exhibition before going to see it. Kennecott is my favorite reviewer. He is insightful and a terrific writer. He isn't a visual artist, but a musician. That said, I agree, he describes art as an artist with an incredible talent at writing. I will sometimes be halfway through a review, and notice that I am enjoying the writing. This prompts me to back up and look at who wrote the article, and it is always Kennecott. : )
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