Jean-Siméon Chardin, Self Portrait or Portrait of Chardin Wearing an Eyeshade, 1775, Pastel, 46 × 38 cm (Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Arts Graphiques)
John Elderfield considers the true meaning of Cézanne's interest in the painting Self Portrait or Portrait of Chardin Wearing an Eyeshade, 1775 by Jean-Siméon Chardin.
Elderfield writes: "we cannot dismiss the possibility that the unclear sentence in Cézanne’s unquestionably authentic letter on Chardin’s self-portrait is not, in fact, about a physical attribute of the pastel: the plane of light that carries across the bridge of the nose and allows the work’s range of tonal values better to be seen. It could well be about the practical purpose of the shade-creating visor depicted in the pastel..."
Jack Flam discusses the implications of Cézanne's "de-eroticized" approach to the figure in The Large Bathers (1906), part of the upcoming exhibition Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on view from June 20, 2012 - September 3, 2012.
Flam writes that "...Cézanne’s lack of finish created an extraordinarily suggestive spatial openness, one that redefined the esthetics and structure of painting, as well as what was permissible in the representation of the human figure. We can also perceive the discontinuities in Cézanne’s paintings as being important factors in their spiritual implications. If the solid forms in his paintings seem to be on the verge of dissolution and the empty spaces on the verge of becoming solidified, they reflect Cézanne’s intuitive understanding of the interchangeability of matter and energy and his intense awareness of the metaphysical void that underlies what we can know of the natural world."
Kent Minturn undertakes and in-depth examination of Clyfford Still's thesis on Cézanne and the clues it provides to Still's early and later development as an artist.
Minturn notest that "In his thesis Still eloquently emphasizes Cézanne’s 'tactual' application of paint and takes pains to describe the way his predecessor 'feels' his way around his forms. Cézanne and Still similarly dismantle Albertian perspective by giving equal emphasis to figure and ground... Although Still points out that one of Cezanne’s 'most important contributions to the evolution of modern art' was his ability 'to realize form in color rather than make color look like form,' he does not argue that one of these plastic elements is subordinate to the other. Rather, he situates them on equal footing and demonstrates the extent to which color and form are inextricably intertwined in Cézanne’s praxis."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.