Paul Cézanne: The Bridge From Post-Impressionism To Cubism

Paul Cézanne: The Bridge From Post-Impressionism To Cubism

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The art landscape boasts a plethora of talented artists, each carving distinct pathways in the annals of art history. Paul Cézanne stands tall among them, anchoring the transition between Post-Impressionism and the budding Cubism movement of the early 20th century.

What makes Paul Cezanne unique is that his artistic method distilled objects to their rudimentary geometric essence and probed the wonders of visual perceptions; Cézanne set the stage for legends like Picasso and Braque. Read on as we journey through Cézanne’s illustrious career, from his Post-Impressionist beginnings to his profound influence on Cubism.

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Paul Cézanne Is The Bridge From Post-Impressionism To Cubism

The world of art is teeming with many artists, each influencing the trajectory of art in unique ways. One such monumental figure is Paul Cézanne, a pivotal artist at the crossroads of Post-Impressionism and its development.

In Cubism of the early 20th century, his approach to art, which involved dissecting objects into their simplest geometric forms and exploring the realm of optical phenomena, paved the way for artistic giants like Picasso and Braque.

Post-Impressionism Defined

Post-Impressionism is an art movement that emerged in the late 19th century, following closely on the heels of the Impressionist movement. While Impressionism focused on capturing fleeting moments, the play of light on surfaces, and scenes of daily life, Post-Impressionism was less about direct observations and more about subjects’ emotional, symbolic, and abstract representation.

Artists like Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cézanne were central to this movement, each bringing their distinct touch to their artworks.

Cézanne’s Post-Impressionist Influence

Paul Cézanne’s foray into art began deeply rooted in Post-Impressionist ideals. The Impressionist technique heavily influenced him, but he was keen on reintroducing a sense of order and structure into his works.

His paintings from this period, like the iconic “Mont Sainte-Victoire” series, showcase a beautiful blend of the fleeting quality of light captured by the Impressionists combined with his unique structural approach.

Mont Sainte-Victoire (1885-1887) By Paul Cezanne
Mont Sainte-Victoire (1904) By Paul Cezanne
Mont Sainte-Victoire (1904 – 1906) By Paul Cézanne

A sense of exploration characterized Cézanne’s work during this period. He often broke down objects and landscapes into rudimentary geometric forms, experimenting with different perspectives and tones.

Paul Cezanne’s use of color wasn’t just to depict reality; he used it to convey emotion and depth. This approach laid the foundation for the later modernist movements.

Paul Cezanne – Transitioning To Cubism

As Cézanne transitioned into the 20th century, so did his artistic style. Although Cézanne did not outrightly identify as a Cubist artist, his later works heavily influenced the Cubism movement.

His method of viewing subjects from multiple angles and deconstructing them into simpler geometric forms was a revolutionary step toward the Cubist style.

Cubism Defined

Cubism, pioneered by artists like Picasso and Braque, was an avant-garde movement that emerged in the early 20th century. The central tenet of Cubism was the idea of viewing subjects from multiple perspectives and representing them on a two-dimensional canvas, breaking them down into geometric forms like cubes, spheres, and cylinders.

This abstraction and simplification of forms represented a dramatic departure from the traditional realistic representation in art.

Cézanne’s Influence On Cubist Artists

Cézanne’s exploration of form and penchant for simplifying objects into basic geometric shapes resonated deeply with artists like Picasso and Braque. Picasso once famously remarked:

“Cezanne is the father of us all.”

Pablo Picasso

In this statement, Picasso was underlining the profound influence Cézanne had on him and the development of Cubism.

One can trace Cézanne’s influence in Picasso’s early works, especially in how he breaks down forms and represents them from various angles. The parallel lines, the segmentation of objects, and the reshuffling of these segments in a manner that might appear disjointed but carries a profound sense of understanding and deconstruction of the subject—all these elements can be traced back to Cézanne’s artistic explorations.

Paul Cézanne, with his unique approach to art, bridged the gap between emotive Post-Impressionism and geometrically-inclined Cubism. His journey, from capturing the essence of subjects with a blend of Impressionistic techniques and structured forms to inspiring the Cubist movement, showcases the ever-evolving nature of art.

Cézanne’s work serves as a reminder that art movements aren’t isolated bubbles but points in a continuum. Artists draw inspiration from their predecessors, innovate, and inspire future generations.

Cézanne’s legacy as a linchpin between two significant art movements underscores this continuum and highlights his indelible mark on the art world.

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