Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence). Madame Cézanne (Hortense Fiquet, 1850–1922) in the Conservatory, 1891. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 in. (92.1 x 73 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960.
At first I wasn’t eager to see “Madame Cézanne”
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(through March 15). I revere the Master of Aix-en-Provence as nearly a deity, but it’s his landscapes (especially the latest ones) that really set my nerve ends quivering.
Next on my list of most-favorite Cézannes are the still lifes (especially the simplest ones). Last come the figure studies, especially the portraits--which, when you see them individually, all appear very similar.
Add to that the fact that this show consists of 24 oils, 17 pages of drawings and three watercolors, all portraits of the same person
—and I began to fear for my faith. (more…)