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Cezanne's Early Imagery
     

Cezanne's Early Imagery

by Mary Tompkins Lewis, Mary T. Lewis
 

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The turbulent and problematic work of Paul Cézanne's first decade as a painter has long been overshadowed by his legary early history. The persona of a brash and intense Romantic that Cézanne created for himself contributed to critical dismissal of his early work as the chaotic and emotional outpouring of an unbridled imagination. Subsequent scholarship

Overview

The turbulent and problematic work of Paul Cézanne's first decade as a painter has long been overshadowed by his legary early history. The persona of a brash and intense Romantic that Cézanne created for himself contributed to critical dismissal of his early work as the chaotic and emotional outpouring of an unbridled imagination. Subsequent scholarship, both formalist and psychoanalytical in orientation, has ted to sustain this view, with the result that a unique and powerful body of work has seemed but the murky glimmering before Cézanne's introduction to Impressionism in 1872. Mary Tompkins Lewis here assesses Cézanne's first works as a whole, with particular emphasis on the subject paintings, and finds them to be stylistically and iconographically coherent. Lewis views the body of early work not as rudimentary efforts giving unschooled shape to the artist's emotions, but as informed and complex reworkings of traditional subjects, styles, and techniques, suffused with the defiant imagination of a burgeoning master.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This soundly researched and documented study focuses on the paintings from Cezanne's first decade, which, as Tompkins demonstrates, were firmly rooted in the thematic traditions of French art--from religious themes through the 18th-century fete-galante genre to themes from literature. Tompkins succeeds in revealing a passionate young artist fully cognizant of art history and in the artistic mainstream regarding subject matter, though he often personalized it. Though the illustrations are rather murky, this book, together with the recent exhibition catalog Cezanne: The Early Years, 1859-1872 (Abrams, 1988), should form a core collection on the study of Cezanne's early work. Highly recommended.-- Lynell A. Morr, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Lib., Sarasota, Fla.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520065635
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
01/28/1992
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 9.98(h) x 0.92(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Tompkins Lewis has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Colgate, and Parsons School of Design. She has lived and studied in Paris and Aix-en-Provence and now lives in New York City. She is a contributor to Cézanne: The Early Years, 1859-1872 (New York, 1988).

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