Cezanne's Card Playersby Barnaby Wright, John House, Nancy Ireson, Richard Shiff
Paul Cézanne’s famous series of paintings of peasants playing cards has long been considered among his most important and powerful works. The image of seated peasants, still and seeming silent, concentrating on their game of cards, can be seen as the human counterpart to the landscapes of Cézanne’s home countryside, notably Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which held such iconic significance for him.
The two most ambitious versions show three card players, with spectators; in the other three the subject is distilled into a simpler form, with two figures facing each other, seen in profile, as in the Courtauld masterpiece.
This catalogue accompanies a landmark exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, that will be the first to bring together the majority of these remarkable paintings alongside a magnificent group of Cézanne’s closely related portraits of Provençal peasants and rarely seen preparatory oil sketches and drawings.
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