Cézanne Portraits

Princeton Univ. Nov. 2017. 256p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691177861. $55. FINE ARTS
This extraordinary catalog for a globe-trotting exhibition (Paris; London; Washington, DC) gathers more than 100 portraits by Cézanne, who was better known for his still lifes and landscapes. With a concentration on family and friends, the artist expressed the characters he knew well, but what is so striking in many of these paintings, particularly the early ones, is the seeming lack of empathy with or connection to the sitter. Cézanne frequently used photographs of his subjects in addition to "sittings," and this was the case in the numerous self-portraits appearing here. Series depicting the same person, often in different costumes, serve as fine examples of the artist working and reworking the same subject. Cézanne was an enormous influence on the generation of artists who followed him: cubists, fauvists, and the entire avant garde movement. Essays by an impressive trio of scholars (John Elderfield, curator emeritus, Museum of Modern Art; Mary Morton, curator, National Gallery of Art; and Xavier Rey, director of collections, Musée d'Orsay) offer a fine combination of insight and information.
VERDICT This work, which offers the opportunity to view another side of the life work of a very popular artist, should appeal to the general public as well as scholars in the field.
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