Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) is recognized as the father of
abstract art and the modern art movement.2 His emphasis on natural forms and geometric structure influenced a new generation of artists and served as models for Fauvism and Cubism. He was a sensitive, temperamental man who spoke with a thick Provence accent, introspective and emotionally volatile, proud but lacking in self-confidence. The eldest of 3 children, he was born in Aix-en-Provence, France. His father, Louis-Auguste Cézanne, was a self-made man, a successful dealer and exporter of felt hats who had opened a bank and become prosperous. He hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps at the family bank, which he would rename Cézanne and Son.
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), French. Cover: The Artist's Father, 1866. Oil on canvas, 198.5 × 119.3 cm (78⅛ × 47 in). Collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon. Image © 2005 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
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