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Surfing the Net With Kids: Paul Cezanne

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was a post-Impressionist French painter who bridged the gap between the Impressionism of the 19th century and the Cubist style of the 20th century. Although not famous in his lifetime, Cézanne is now considered one of the most important and influential painters in modern art history. Both Matisse and Picasso called him “the father of us all.’’

Art Institute of Chicago: Paul Cézanne www.artic.edu/artexplorer/search.php?tab=2&resource=468As this Art Institute of Chicago biography reveals, Cézanne “was a shy man who adopted a deliberately crude, rustic manner to keep people away.’’ As part of the museum’s Art Explorer website, you can create a free online account and create a scrapbook of artists and artworks that interest you. This resource includes a short biography, a gallery of nine paintings, and a dozen critical analyses of artworks including “Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Armchair’’ and “The Basket of Apples.’’

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MoMA: Paul Cézanne www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=1053Cézanne “epitomized the reaction against [Impressionism] when he declared: ‘I wanted to make of Impressionism something solid and enduring, like the art in museums.’ ’’ He accomplished this by creating the style that became known as post-Impressionism. At this MoMA virtual exhibit, you can explore a gallery of his works, although “he rarely dated his works (and often did not sign them either).’’

Paul Cézanne: The Complete Works www.paul-cezanne.org/the-complete-works.html

With hundreds of images of Cézanne’s paintings available, you can really get a feel for the artist’s style. There are many still lifes, landscapes, and a half-dozen self-portraits. Many of the paintings are very dark, revealing how this shy and unhappy man felt about the world around him. The site also includes a biography and links to more Cézanne sites.

WebMuseum: Paul Cézanne ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/cezanne “Cézanne is an artist’s artist. He was obsessed with form rather than content, so subject matter was always secondary to the act of painting itself. He wanted the methods and skills of the painter to be more important than the image.’’ Art historians divide Cézanne’s body of work into three phases. The WebMuseum presents an excellent tour through these phases, sprinkling his biography with links to appropriate artwork. “His paintings of 1865-70 form what is usually called his early romantic period. Extremely personal in character, it deals with bizarre subjects of violence and fantasy in harsh, somber colors and extremely heavy paintwork.’’

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