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.