Thursday, February 24, 2011

Full House: Cezanne’s Card Players at the Met

Paul Cézanne painted slowly. Very slowly. The fruit in his still lives would ripen and even rot as he worked. Hortense, first his mistress and later his wife, visibly suffers in his portraits of her (although some of that may be due to their difficult union). Cézanne’s father agree to pose only if he could read a newspaper, which the painter impishly changed from the conservative paper his father favored to a radical rag. Only Mont Sainte-Victoire provided the perfectly patient subject. But before Cézanne met his mountain, he looked outside his immediate family to the “extended” family of his father’s employees on their estate just outside Aix-en-Provence. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York brings together Cézanne’s paintings featuring his favorite setting for those workers—playing cards. Cézanne’s Card Players, which runs through May 8, 2011, brings the “full house” of this subject and invites us to join in the game of painting Cézanne played through these players. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Full House."

[Image: Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence). The Card Players, 1890–1892. Oil on canvas. 25 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. (65.4 x 81.9 cm). Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.]

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