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Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors
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Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors

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Still Life in Watercolors
Carol Armstrong

This publication is issued in conjunction Library of Congress
with the exhibition Cezanne in the Catalogin'g-in-Publication Data
Studio: Still Life in Watercolors, held at the
J. Paul Getty Museum, October 12, 2004- Armstrong, Carol M.
January 2, 2005. Cezanne in the studio : still life in watercolors /
Carol Armstrong,
p. cm.
Merrill Lynch Includes index.
Corporate Sponsor ISBN 0-89236-623-0 (hardcover)
i. Cezanne, Paul, 1839-1906. Still-life with
blue pot—Exhibitions. 2. Still-life painting,
© 2004 J. Paul Getty Trust French—19th century—Exhibitions. 3. Cezanne,
Paul, 1839-1906—Criticism and interpretation.
Getty Publications I. Cezanne, Paul, 1839-1906. II. J. Paul Getty
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500 Museum. III. Title.
Los Angeles, California 90049-1682 ND1950.C4A75 2004 759.4—dc22
Christopher Hudson, Publisher
Mark Greenberg, Editor in Chief Every effort has been made by the publisher
John Harris, Editor to trace copyright holders. Any unacknowl-
Karen Jacobson, Manuscript Editor edged claimants should notify the publisher for
Jeffrey Cohen, Designer recognition in future editions.
Anita Keys, Production Coordinator
Anthony Peres, Photographer
Cover: Paul Cezanne. Still Life with Blue Pot
Typesetting by Diane Franco (detail). (See plate i.)
Color separations by Professional Graphics Inc.,
Rockford, Illinois Frontispiece, right: Details from the Atelier
Printed and bound by CS Graphics Pte. Ltd., des Lauves, c. 1953.

Notes to the Reader
Objects in the exhibition are illustrated
as plates. Detail images of the Getty's Still
Life with Blue Pot are numbered consecu-
tively throughout the book. Their exact
location on the watercolor can be found by
referring to the keys to the details, located
on pages 141-43.
For further information on the Getty's
Still Life with Blue Pot—including prove-
nance, bibliography, and exhibition
history—see George R. Goldner, with the
assistance of Lee Hendrix and Gloria
Williams, European Drawings i: Catalogue
of the Collections (Malibu, Calif.: J. Paul
Getty Museum, 1988), 150.

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 9

Foreword ix
Deborah Gribbon
Acknowledgments x
Lee Hendrix
Lenders to the Exhibition xi
Opening Lines i
The Biography of Objects 9
The Landscape of Still Life 45
Picture and Sketch 75
Pencil Lines and Watercolors 101
Finishing Touches 137
Keys to Details 141
Index 144
Photography Credits 148

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 11

Paul Cezanne's role as the heroic progenitor that they inspired. In his studio—filled with as well as an enduring scholarly contribu-
of modernism stems largely from the faience, tapestries, and furniture from his tion, I extend heartfelt thanks to the lenders
achievement of his monumental paintings beloved Provence—this spartan individual for their support and generosity, which
in oil. But another part of his oeuvre reveals composed still lifes of unabated sensual allow today's audiences to be drawn into
an artistic personality that, while less lion- attraction. It was at Les Lauves that Cezanne the orbit of Cezanne's genius.
ized in the annals of art and its history, is painted his late still lifes in watercolor, among This exhibition marks the launch of
more human and approachable than the the masterpieces of his oeuvre. a new corporate sponsorship program
Cezanne we think we know These qualities The exhibition and accompanying at the Getty, and I take great pleasure in
emerge in the medium of watercolor, where publication bring together an extraordinary welcoming Merrill Lynch as our inaugural
the brilliant white of the paper surface, the artist and a scholar of exceptional insight sponsor.
silvery line of sharpened graphite, and the and eloquence, Carol Armstrong. I am grate-
translucent brilliance of liquid color seem to ful to her for writing the book and curating
imbue his famously struggling temperament the exhibition, and to her friend and col- DEBORAH GRIBBON
with a lighter sense of being. league Lee Hendrix, the Getty's curator of Director, J. Paul Getty Museum
Cezanne's celebration of the kaleido- drawings, for inviting her to undertake the Vice President, J. Paul Getty Trust
scopic interaction of the ethereal elements project and for overseeing it.
of color, line, and light finds pure expres- Professor Armstrong's text leads read-
sion in his monumental late watercolor Still ers through an intensive exploration of the
Life with Blue Pot in the Getty Museum. It wonders of Cezanne's dazzling watercolors.
is a work of such brilliance that we decided From the outset, it was acknowledged that
to make it the focus of a book. As the project the design of the book would play a crucial
developed, however, it became clear that role in this process. I offer warm thanks to
Cezanne's watercolor still lifes were at once editor John Harris, designer Jeffrey Cohen,
so profound and glorious that they merited production coordinator Anita Keys, the
an exhibition. Cezanne in the Studio: Still Getty's excellent publications team, Carol
Life in Watercolors explores the intersection Hernandez and Michael Smith in Imaging
of the genre of still life-and the medium Services, and Anthony Peres and Jack Ross
of watercolor. The significance of the studio in Photographic Services for producing a
is crucial, since it was in this controlled, book that astounds and delights.
familiar environment that Cezanne painted I am especially grateful to the lenders
his still lifes. Anyone who has visited his for sharing their precious works of art.
final studio at Les Lauves, just outside the The responsibility of preserving Cezanne's
old town of Aix-en-Provence, cannot fail to fragile, light-sensitive watercolors for future
be moved by the contrast between the generations makes lending them a weighty
humble, simple surviving still-life objects decision indeed. Satisfied that the exhibition
and the splendid, profound watercolors and book will be a revelation to our visitors

More than ten years ago my friend Carol organizational skills with unflagging good The beautiful installation design can
Armstrong came to the Getty to lecture cheer. This is equally true of Sally Hibbard, be credited to Merritt Price, Leon Rodriguez,
on Paul Cezanne's Still Life with Blue Pot, Amy Linker, and the excellent team in the and Hillary Spencer of the Exhibition
and it was then that we began to plan a Registrar's Office, whose vigilance and hard Design Department. As always, I am tremen-
book devoted to this great watercolor. work kept us on course. dously grateful to the team of preparators
The book was conceived as hinging on the The book was a thrill to work on, since at the Getty, who carry out installations with
interdependency of words and images in we intended the design to play a key role exemplary dedication and care.
order to lead the reader-viewer into an ever in guiding its readers through an intensive We received help and advice from
more intensive investigation of this water- visual as well as intellectual journey through many individuals and would like to express
color, peeling away its layers of meaning until Cezanne's watercolor still lifes. Designer particular appreciation to William and
arriving inside Cezanne's dynamic sense Jeffrey Cohen played a key role in making Eleanor Acquavella, Joseph Baillio, Katrin
of process. We felt that it was important this vision become a glorious reality, as Bellinger, Cara Denison, Albert Elen, Walter
that the book also consider the import, did project editor John Harris and produc- and Maria Feilchenfeldt, Laura Giles, Dorothy
from a variety of perspectives, of the entire tion coordinator Anita Keys. In addition, Konsinski, Suzanne Folds McCullagh,
body of Cezanne's still lifes in watercolor. I extend my warmest thanks to other Griselda Pollock, Joseph Rishel, Andrew
As we contemplated this highly important colleagues in Getty Publications: Patrick Robison, Marie-Pierre Sale, Scott Schaefer,
and spectacularly beautiful subset of his Callahan, Mark Greenberg, Chris Hudson, Friederike Steckling, Margret Stuffmann,
oeuvre, it became clear that it deserved to Karen Schmidt, and Deenie Yudell. I've and Francoise Viatte.
be the subject of an exhibition. been fortunate to collaborate on yet another Finally, supreme thanks go to the
It has been a privilege from beginning book with editor Karen Jacobson, whose lenders, who generously agreed to part with
to end to work with the many individuals sensitivity and good judgment were an asset their works for the duration of the exhi-
who have brought Cezanne in the Studio: as always. The book is dependent on stun- bition. (Their names are listed on the
Still Life in Watercolors into being. Most ning photography, and the inspired efforts following page.) Without their support this
of all, I wish to thank Carol Armstrong, with of Carol Hernandez and Michael Smith project would never have been possible.
whom it has been an honor and supreme in Imaging Services and Anthony Peres and
pleasure to collaborate. She has written a Jack Ross in Photographic Services made LEE HENDRIX
luminous text that leads us through the this come to pass.
beauties and complexities of Cezanne's art Christine Giviskos, Katie Hanson, and Curator of Drawings
with consummate eloquence and persuasive David McCormick of the Drawings Depart- J. Paul Getty Museum
understanding of the artist's process. ment were invaluable in countless respects.
The exhibition would not have taken They worked tirelessly on the book and
place without the continued support of exhibition in a wide range of capacities, and
Deborah Gribbon and William Griswold, the project would not have come to fruition
director and associate director of the Getty without them. We are joined at the hip to
Museum, respectively. Quincy Houghton, Paper Conservation, and I am deeply grateful
Amber Keller, and the rest of the staff in the to Nancy Yocco, who led us through the
Exhibitions Department shepherded its technical examination of Cezanne's water-
progress and, as always, lent their invaluable colors and helped in many other ways.

Lenders to the Exhibition
Our thanks are extended to all those who have kindly lent
works to the exhibition.
Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago
Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art
London, Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, Thaw Collection
Paris, Musee du Louvre, Departement des Arts Graphiques,
Fonds du Musee d'Orsay
Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Princeton, The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, Inc.
Riehen/Basel, Fondation Beyeler
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Washington, D.C., The National Gallery of Art
A number of generous private lenders

Plate i
Paul Cezanne
(French, 1839-1906)
St/7/ Life with Blue Pot,
Watercolor and graphite
on white wove paper,
48.1 x 63.2 cm
(i8 /ie x 24% in.)
Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty
Museum 83.00.221

Opening Lines
/ ike many a still life, Paul Cezanne's though it has pencil lines sewn through its
Still Life with Blue Pot (pi. 1) translucent cobalts, reds, ochers, and greens,
gets its name from among its inventory of it is a painting at least as much as it is a
objects, in this case the blue enamel pot that drawing.
forms the summit of the composition. Its As memorable as it is, however, Cezanne's
objects are plain and simple, remarkably Still Life with Blue Pot is lowly on two counts:
unremarkable when seen in their diminished its genre and its medium. A still life in water-
reality in Cezanne's last studio in Aix-en- colors, after all, is hardly the stuff of momen-
Provence, where many of them still dwell.l tous art as it is usually conceived. Still life
Yet the still life that these simple objects is the category of painterly subject matter
compose is a magnificent thing: executed in that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder
graphite and watercolor but large in dimen- of the old hierarchy of genres: devoted to
sions for its medium, it is of the size and inanimate things and abject matter, thought
spaciousness of a landscape, complex in both to be devoid of invention and narrative
its arrangement of volumes and patterns import, tied to the humble activities of the
and in its layering of watercolor tints and home or the quotidian exercises of the stu-
touches, gorgeous in its raiment of stained- dio, it is to history and mythological painting
glass effects. Much more than a study, it is a and all subjects based in the human body as
full-fledged picture, carefully plotted and guttersnipe is to hero, scullery maid to king.
elaborately crafted, as finished as any of the Likewise, watercolor on paper is to oil on
painter's late works ever were, and more canvas as holiday gear is to formal wear:
sensuously satisfactory than many of his oils. the sketchbook materials of the student, the
Indeed, though it resides in the drawings amateur, and the dilettante, of the artist's
collection of the J. Paul Cetty Museum, and private note taking, the English hobbyist's

for Cubism, the next step after Post-
Impressionism in the modernist lineage.
And this in spite of the many modern
admirers of Cezanne's watercolors, not
to mention the evident descent of Picasso's
and Georges Braque's early Cubist still lifes
straight out of Cezanne's work in that genre.4
And in spite of the fact that the work chosen
to represent Cezanne's genius and celebrate
his status as a modernist saint in Maurice
Denis's 1900 Homage to Cezanne (fig. 1) was
precisely a still life, Still Life with Compotier
of 1880 (fig. 2), which figures as well at
the center of Roger Fry's pivotal 7927 mono-
graph on Cezanne. Fry, indeed, argued for
the centrality of still life as a genre, devoting
a fifteen-page chapter to the subject, some
Figure 1 leisurely pursuit, the lady's flower or land- nine pages of which were spent on Still Life
Maurice Denis scape jotting, not the matter of high value, with Compotier itself.5 Fry the Bloomsbury
(French, 1870-1943) 2 formalist saw still life as the keystone of
public esteem, complex craft and finish.
Homage to Cezanne, 1900 Usually dependent on immediacy, brevity, Cezanne's work precisely because of its
Oil on canvas,
180 x 240 cm and a quick, sure touch, watercolor defies the inconsequential subject matter: he argued
(70% x 94 /2 in.) layered labor of oil painting. Like still life, for the "purely plastic significance of still-
Paris, Musee d'Orsay it tends to be relatively small in size. Like still life," the greater evidence of the artist's
R.F. 1977-137
life, it has something of the feminine about "handwriting" in the painting of unpreten-
it. As with still life, moreover, its subjects are tious objects, and the unconscious but telling
generally of low standing. And as with still "deformations" that show up in this lowly
life, so with watercolor: it is neither that genre more than in others. "In still life,"he
genre nor that medium that we think of when said, "the ideas and emotions associated with
we think of Cezanne as the titanic figure who the objects represented are, for the most
inaugurated the great and storied struggles part, so utterly commonplace and insignifi-
of the modernist tradition. We are more apt cant that neither artist nor spectator need
to think of works like his late, great Bathers, consider them. It is this fact that makes the
executed in oil on canvas, huge in size, still-life so valuable to the critic as a gauge of
redolent of myth and history, an obvious pre- the artist's personality. "6 For Fry, paradoxi-
monition of such pathbreaking modernist cally, it was the very insignificance of still
masterpieces as Pablo Picasso's Demoiselles life's world of modest things that made it sig-
d'Avignon and an equally obvious inspiration nify so purely in the way that mattered most.

Cezanne's objects were more modest than
most still-life paraphernalia: thus, according
to Fry's formalist reasoning, the forms that
they made were all the more directly expres-
sive of the artist's interior life, and that made
them all the more meaningful.
A later art historian argued for the sig-
nificance of still life in Cezanne's oeuvre
too, but from a contrary point of view: Meyer
Schapiro thought the subject matter of the
"apples of Cezanne" all important, finding in
them "a latent erotic sense, an unconscious
symbolizing of a repressed desire," which
made them the displaced embodiment of the
painter's sexuality, as expressed in the pas-
toral poetry of his early letters and his con-
tinuing obsession with body-crowded images
of bathers, bacchanalia, and "battles of
love. " For Schapiro the social art historian
with the long view, the iconography of still
life—of Cezanne's still lifes in particular—
was as important as that of mythological,
religious, or history painting; indeed in
Cezanne's case the topics of high painting
were latent in still life, which was laden with
the psychological weight of the humanist
Figure 2 narrative. As paradoxical a view as Fry's,
Paul Cezanne Schapiro's account of Cezanne's painting also
Still Life with Compotier, 1880 accorded high standing to the artist's work
Oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm
1 5 in still life.
(i8 /s x 21 /8 in.)
Private collection There are ways, then, of giving a splendid
thing like the Getty's Still Life with Blue Pot
its due, despite or even because of its humble
object world, and in this study I mean to
do just that. My terms will be a little different
from those of either Fry or Schapiro, or per-
haps it is better to say that I will combine and
alter them. Like Fry, I am interested in the

"handwriting" and the "deformations" of this and godly genealogies. It will be instead the here—is the story of the artist's very process.
particular still life, and in the way that it is more particular, poignant story of the human For that process—tied up as it is with the
saturated with Cezanne's human peculiarity. gravitas of a still life in watercolors. artist's "handwriting"and "deformations,"his
And a bit like Schapiro, I find the bodily Still life is the subject of the first part manual orchestration of the still-life arrange-
(though not necessarily the sexual) imprint of this study. Watercolor is the subject of the ment, and his corporeal investment in its
of Cezanne in the Still Life. At the same time, second. So then what is the place of water- space—is put on display in watercolor on
again somewhat like Schapiro, I consider it a color in this tale? Cezanne's watercolors, paper in a way that it is not in oil on canvas.
kind o/paysage historique, framing its realm much as they may have been valued, have In some of Cezanne's simpler watercolors,
of things as if it had the breadth, human heft, had no champions of the likes of Fry or the process of designing and coloring is laid
and space of the old narrative landscape, Schapiro; among others Lawrence Cowing bare; in complex pieces like Still Life with
as if the human being could wend his way has written about them with an artist's eye Blue Pot it submerges and then surfaces, fas-
through it on his life journey, expressing what but without making the large claims for their cinating the viewer into sharing the dialogue
heretofore had been the concern of high centrality that Fry and Schapiro made for between eye and hand that is the very life
history painting and historical landscape in still life. And though he sent a share of water- of drawing and painting.
the up-close, low-life "manualspace," colors to his first one-artist show atAmbroise Most of Cezanne's best watercolors date
as Braque would call it, of still-life painting. Vollard's gallery in 7895 and then ten years from the last years of his life, the period in
In Cezanne's still-life painting, however, later agreed to let Vollard put on an exhi- which he executed Still Life with Blue Pot in
the human journey is charted, not in ancient bition devoted exclusively to his watercolors, his last studio at Les Lauves. This was also the
Rome, but on the tabletop, along with the Cezanne himself was inclined to write them period in which he was at work on the more
floors, furnishings, chairs, and walls sur- off as things of little substance, less than famous series of the great Bathers, and in
rounding it, not on Mount Olympus but at earth-shatteringly important. It is precisely which he continued to labor on the now-
the intersection between domestic and studio because ofwatercolor's insubstantiality, its familiar shape of Mont Sainte-Victoire in oil
life, between the painter's eye and hand. The lightness of being, and in Cezanne's case the and in watercolor. And it was the period in
space of Still Life with Blue Pot and others of greater ease and airiness of the watercolors which he had garnered a reputation for him-
its genre and medium is a biographical space, relative to the oils, that this is so: for in them self, with avant-garde group shows in Paris
certainly, only not in the high, heroic sense, Cezanne's legendary struggles at "realiza- and elsewhere, one-artist exhibitions with his
nor in the potboiler sense of the tortured- tion" weigh less heavily, and his famous dealer Vollard, and the growing adulation of
artist romance that Cezanne's friend Emile turbulence is quieted. So it is, again, less pos- young painters like Maurice Denis and Emile
Zola made famous with The Masterpiece in sible to tell the story of his watercolors as Bernard, who deified Cezanne and left us his
1886, but in this strictly still-life sense: a mighty modernist battle. apocrypha. But Cezanne had drawn and
its rustic objects and the relationships among Nevertheless, Cezanne's work in water- painted in watercolors well before he became
them speak intimately and familiarly of color and pencil is often unusually complex modernism's grand old man, and we will have
the painter's home away from home in his for the medium, particularly in highly devel- occasion to look across his career and see
Provencal studio, and of the nature of the oped pictures like Still Life with Blue Pot how his process changed from his early to his
relationship between the painter's art and in which the artist made the most of what is late efforts. We will see also how he used the
his life. Thus my story of the Cezanne of Still most difficult about watercolor painting. delicate veils that watercolor allows and even
Life with Blue Pot will not be the Olympian What is plotted in them—and that is the demands, sometimes to simple and some-
myth of modernism with its herculean struggles other part of the tale that I want to tell times to complex effect, sometimes with and

sometimes against the grain of the medium, evocation of the studio in the content, com- put on display. For all of his centrality to the
oscillating constantly between the spare and position, and genre of still life; second, modernist tradition, Cezanne's project has
barely there and layered webs of stroke upon the artist's process of painting and drawing, always been extraordinarily difficult to char-
stroke, between the faintest whisper of tint, which takes place in the studio. Indeed, it acterize: this study, and the exhibition that
exquisite in its restraint, and a full concert looks at Cezanne's work in light of the two goes with it, will undertake to do so, not from
of color, rich in baroque sensuality. And meanings of the word studio, of which the on high, but from an up-close, interior van-
between the pencil and the palette, for Still English word study is a variation: study, as in tage point. It will start with and return to its
Life with Blue Pot and its companions also working space (with all that is found within centerpiece, Still Life with Blue Pot, setting it
engage the viewer in the duet of color and it), and study, as in act of working; studying; in relation to other still lifes and other sub-
line, playing upon and yet undermining the producing etudes, sketches, or studies. Thus jects, to oils and to watercolors, and working
traditional distinction between the two this exhibition attempts to show how both in and out of it in four close-study cam-
while confusing and complicating the linear the contents and the procedures of the studio paigns: first, the biography of objects; sec-
sequence from drawn armature to the were confronted in the space of the studio ond, the landscape of still life; then, picture
fleshing-out of a work in paint that goes with and how the studio mattered as much to and sketch; and finally, pencil lines and
that distinction. Cezanne as the plein air motif. It includes watercolors. These are its opening lines; we
Recently it has been argued that the examples from all three periods—early, will end with Cezanne's finishing touches.
Fauve painter Henri Matisse took the artis- middle, and late — of Cezanne's watercolor
tic and philosophical distinction between career, in order to show how his attitude
the drawn conception and the colored real- toward the objects and processes of the studio
ization of a work of art and inverted it in changed, loosened, and fundamentally shifted
his mature oeuvre: something of the same over time. At the same time it focuses on
may be said of Cezanne's late work in still life the last, Les Lauves, period of Cezanne's pro-
and watercolor. Thus the second half of this duction, between 7902 and 1906, when his
study will involve us in a close examination watercolor output was the richest and his still
and even collaboration in the process of lifes in the medium the most numerous, the
drawing and painting and the colloquy most adventurous, and the most "studious,"
between them that Cezanne's watercolors according to the double meanings suggested
such as Still Life with Blue Pot increasingly above. This was also the period when, most
engage in. And like the story of still life, the people agree, Cezanne came into his own
process ofwatercolor will spin a yarn rather in oil and in landscape and achieved, not
more humanly interesting, and certainly a dissolute old-age style, but rather his very
more subtle, than the legend of Cezanne the best work, without which he would not have
golden calf of modernism. garnered the status of grand (if peculiar) old
An exhibition of still lifes in watercolor master of modernism that has been granted
and graphite has grown up around Still Life him. It is the more poignant, distaff side of
with Blue Pot. Called Cezanne in the Studio, that late labor, the part of it that took place
the exhibition examines two aspects of indoors and in watercolors, and without
Cezanne's relation to the atelier: first, the regard for posterity, that this exhibition will

1. For inventories of the objects found in the modernist line—they figure in all discussions of
Cezanne's last studio, see Michel Fraisset, Les Vies Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon, for instance, and
silencieuses de Cezanne: Texte et illustrations des whether or not it was a Cubist work. See, for example,
conferences donnees par Michel Fraisset, directeur J. M. Nash, Cubism, Futurism, and Constructivism
de I'Atelier Cezanne a Tokyo, Atlanta, Harbin, Pekin (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974), 10-11: "There
en 1999 (Aix-en-Provence: Office du Tourisme were two artists of the nineteenth century who, by
d'Aix-en-Provence, 1999); Michel Fraisset, Atelier de 1906, were at once heroic in their genius and in-
Cezanne (Aix-en-Provence: Editions aux arts, n.d.). evitably associated with compositions of nudes. The
Of the objects in Still Life with Blue Pot, the octago- one whose influence on Cubism is unmistakable is
nal pitcher is listed in Les vies silencieuses de Paul Cezanne. His late paintings of women bathing,
Cezanne as among the "objets perdus" of the studio, often thought to be the climax of his career, have
but the metal pot and sugar bowl are not and been taken to be important influences on Picasso
must have rusted away. They are not the most com- when he was creating the Demoiselles. Cezanne died
monly found objects in Cezanne's still lifes; indeed, in 1906, and his achievement was widely recognized
they are even cheaper and simpler than those that as the greatest in contemporary art." See also
do recur more often. William Rubin, "Cezannisme and the Beginnings of
Cubism," in Cezanne: The Late Work (New York:
2. On the history of watercolor, particularly Museum of Modern Art, 1977), 151-202. For recent
in England, with which the medium was closely discussions of the Bathers, which take their centrality
associated since the eighteenth century, see Ann to modern art and to Cezanne's art for granted,
Bermingham, Learning to Draw: Studies in the see T. J. Clark, "Freud's Cezanne," in Farewell to
Cultural History of a Polite and Useful Art (New an Idea (New Haven and London: Yale University
Haven: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Press, 1999), 139-67; and Tamar Garb, "Cezanne's
Studies in British Art by Yale University Press, Late Bathers: Modernism and Sexual Difference,"
2000). On watercolor practice more generally, see in Bodies of Modernity: Figure and Flesh in Fin-de-
Marjorie B. Cohn, Wash and Gouache: A Study of Siecle France (London: Thames and Hudson, 1998),
the Development of the Materials of Watercolor 197-218. See also Griselda Pollock, "What Can We
(Cambridge: Center for Conservation and Technical Say about Cezanne These Days?" Oxford Art Journal
Studies, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 13, no. i (19 .): 95-101.
1977); Jean Leymarie, Watercolor from Dilrer to
Balthus (New York: Skira/Rizzoli, 1984); and Walter 4. Cezanne had several watercolors in the Impres-
Koschatzky, Watercolor History and Technique, trans. sionist exhibition of 1877, including Still Life:
Mary Whittall (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970). On Flowers and Fruit on a Table (pi. 21); see John
the French tradition, see Alain de Leiris and Carol Rewald, Paul Cezanne: The .Watercolors, a Catalogue
Hynning Smith, From Delacroix to Cezanne: French Raisonne (Boston: Little, Brown, 1983), 84. At his
Watercolor Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century first solo exhibition at Vollard's gallery in Paris
(College Park: Art Department Gallery, University of ne
in 1895, included some watercolors, and then in
Maryland, 1977); Louis Reau, Un Siecle d'aquarelle 1905 he had an exhibition of watercolors alone
de Gericault a nos jours (Paris: Charpentier, 1942); at Vollard's. And then in 1907, the year following
Francois Daulte, French Watercolors of the Nine- Cezanne's death, an exhibition of seventy-nine
teenth Century, trans. Frances Bap and David Joyce watercolors was held at Bernheim-Jeune, coinciding
(New York: Viking, 1969). with the extremely influential retrospective of
fifty-six paintings at the fifth Salon d'Automne. His
3. The late Bathers culminate decades of oils watercolors were admired by Edgar Degas (who
and drawings of groups of nude figures, male and bought Three Pears [pi. 21]), Emile Bernard, Maurice
female. None of them was done from life, though Denis, Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Delaunay, and
all recall the practice of studying from the model in many others, who saw in them immense skill and
the studio, and most were likely done in the studio. the beginnings of abstraction. On Cezanne's water-
The late Bathers were too large to be taken outdoors, colors and their reception, see Felix Baumann et al.,
and thus Cezanne must have been at work on them Cezanne: Finished-Unfinished (Vienna: Kunstforum
all the while that he was producing his late studio Wien, 2000); Gotz Adriani, Cezanne Watercolors,
watercolors of still-life subjects. The Bathers, unlike trans. Russell M. Stockman (New York: Harry N.
the still lifes, however, have always been at the Abrams, 1983); William Rubin, Cezanne Watercolors
forefront of discussions of Cezanne's importance to (New York: Acquavella Galleries, 1999); Antoine

Terrasse, Les acquarelles de Cezanne (Paris: Flam- 1987); and Richard Wollheim, "Giovanni Morelli and
marion, 1995); John Coplans, Cezanne Watercolors the Origins of Scientific Connoisseurship," in On
(Pasadena: Pasadena Art Museum; Los Angeles: Art and Mind (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
Ward Ritchie Press, 1967); Lawrence Cowing, 1974), 177-201. Fry's discussion of the unconscious
Watercolour and Pencil Drawings by Cezanne meaningfulness of insignificant subject matter,
(London: Northern Arts and the Arts Council of and his notion of "handwriting," ultimately descends
Great Britain, 1973); and Laura M. Giles and Carol from such Morellian ideas.
Armstrong, eds., Cezanne in Focus: Watercolors from
the Henry and Rose Pearlman Collection (Princeton, 8. Meyer Schapiro, "The Apples of Cezanne: An
N.J.: Princeton University Art Museum, 2002). Essay on the Meaning of Still-Life" (1968), in Modern
See also Adrien Chappuis, The Drawings of Paul Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York:
Cezanne: A Catalogue Raisonne (Greenwich, Conn.: George Braziller, 1979), 1-38, esp. 12.
New York Graphic Society, 1973).
9. See Yve-Alain Bois, "Matisse and 'Arche-
5. Roger Fry, Cezanne: A Study of His Development Drawing,'" in Painting as Model (Cambridge and
(1927; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), London: MIT Press, 1990), 3-63.
10. For Cezanne's status as the old master or "primi-
6. Ibid., 39. tive" of modernism, discovered by the new genera-
tion of the fin-de-siecle, see Emile Bernard, Souvenirs
7. On Fry, the Bloomsbury school of formalism, sur Paul Cezanne, et lettres (Paris: R. G. Michel,
and its derivation from Bernard Berenson's art his- 1925) (first published in Mercure de France in 1905
torical usage of Giovanni Morelli's notions of the and 1907, and as a book in 1912); and Maurice
physiognomic significance of the rendering of appar- Denis, "Cezanne," in Theories, 1890-1910: Du sym-
ently insignificant features such as ears and hair, bolisme et de Gauguin vers un nouvel ordre classique
see Christopher Reed, A Roger Fry Reader (Chicago (Paris: L. Rouart et J. Watelin, 1920), 2461 (first
and London: University of Chicago Press, 1996); published in L'Occident in 1907 and in Burlington
Beverly H. Twitchell, Cezanne and Formalism in Magazine, translated by Roger Fry, in 1910).
Bloomsbury (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press,

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 23

The Biography of Objects
I'nventory °/stiU Life with the tapestry is seen, with a piece of gold
Blue Pot y/e/ds, /rom /e/t border at its edge. It might be a tabletop on
to r/(7/7t: a heap of flowered tapestry, w/t/? which the arrangement is piled, or it might
green, blue, red, and gold patterns woven not: the entire surface is covered, so it is
through it, which makes a mound toward the hard to know. But the shape of the tapestry
left, disappears behind the still life's objects mound and fall and the bit of contrasting
at the center, and reemerges to make a fall gold border at the bottom center together
at the right edge of the composition; an suggest the possibility of a curving-backed
angular white porcelain pitcher with a faint sofa or armchair, without offering anything
blue design at the leftmost part of the definite to confirm that possibility. A glimpse
arrangement of objects; the blue pot of the of wall and floor is given at the top and
title, made of enameled metal, replete with right side of the composition, replete with a
lid and swinging handle, set behind and thin strip to mark the wainscoted division
slightly above the pitcher toward the center; of the wall between green-tinged and brown-
another metal pot, this one of white enamel, toned areas, and a thicker strip of molding
squatter and smaller, but otherwise rather to mark the meeting between wall and floor.
like the blue pot with its lid and handle, set Otherwise nothing of or in the room is seen:
just below and to the right of it; what appear nothing to say whether it is kitchen, dining
to be seven apples, red and gold globes room, nook or cranny, or other living space,
encircling the squat white pot and then half- or simply atelier.
sinking into the folds of tapestry behind it Many of the same objects are found,
and at the right; and finally a piece of white rearranged, within a still life in watercolors of
table linen with a red stripe on which the the period (fig. 3) that appears to be an
pitcher, white lidded pot, and three of the alternative or companion to Still Life with Blue
seven apples sit, and beneath which a bit of Pot. A melon is added to that composition,

Figure 3
Paul Ce~zanne
Still Life with Milk Pot,
Melon, and Sugar Bowl,
Watercolor and graphite
on white paper, 45.7 x
63.5 cm (18 x 25 in.)
Grosse Pointe Shores,
Michigan, Edsel & Eleanor
Ford House 1986.2

the apples appear to be fewer in number, and
the handle of the blue pot is lifted in a halo-
like arc above its lid, but otherwise the objects
and even the indeterminate corner space are
the same. And then one gradually realizes
what is missing from both of them: they have
none of the porcelain compotiers, glass bot-
tles, carafes and glasses, plates, flowered
Detail i pitchers and sugar bowls, or rough-glazed
ginger pots and ceramic wares that are found
throughout Cezanne's still lifes and that—
together with plaster cupid, ecorche, and
skulls—still line the various shelves and sur-
faces of the studio at Les Lauves today (fig. 4).
Only their tapestry, red-striped white linen
and fruit, and the pitcher show up in other
still lifes. Moreover, as simple and crude
as the objects that remain in Cezanne's studio
are, they are at least more permanent than
the two metal pots at the center of these
two compositions, which, judging from some
of the metal items that are still found in the
atelier, have long since rusted away (detail i).
But permanent or not, what one can
say about the three main items at the center
of Still Life with Blue Pot is that they form
a sort of family trio, made up of the dominant
blue pot, the helpmeet milk pitcher and
the hemmed-in, dominated little white pot,
genetically similar to the larger blue one
behind it, trying vainly to assert itself. Father,
Figure 4 mother, son? (Or is it mother, father, son?)
Cezanne's studio at Les Lauves Perhaps, but it surely suggests, along with
the flowering rusticity of Cezanne's Provencal
world and the spartan simplicity of his
hermit's retreat, something else that was
common to his still lifes in oil and watercolor:
the anthropomorphism of object relations.

EZANNE PAINTED STILL LiFES from the very beginning of his career, and
Cfrom the beginning he was interested in the simplest of objects, tinged in
one way or another with an Aixois rusticity. One of his earliest still lifes in oil is the
little Aixois Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup (fig. 5), painted around 1866,
hanging unframed over the head of his father enthroned in chintz, his home his castle,
in a portrait Cezanne painted the same year (fig. 6), thus suggesting the early impor-
tance of still life to the space of domestic relations and the family romance. It is small,
crude, and dense, and like his coarse Bread and Eggs and lugubrious Skull and Candle-
stick of the same period, it is painted in his notorious couillarde manner. (Translated
approximately as "ballsy," this term—used by Cezanne himself to describe his thick
way of handling paint in the i86os, often with the palette knife as well as the brush—
manages to convey at once the roughness of a provincial identity and the earthiness
of sexual slang.2) It is, moreover, a site in which he early on began to work through
the factural options handed down to him through Gustave Courbet and Edouard
Manet in particular: between the sculptural, proto-facet dab and material buildup of
the palette knife (the small pear, the sugar bowl, and the large, fat pear in front of it)
and the proto-Expressionist scribble of the brush (the pear to the right) found in his
Figure 5
Paul Cezanne
Still Life: Sugar Bowl,
Pears, and Blue Cup,
c. 1866
Oil on canvas, 30 x 41 cm
(ii13/i6 x i6Vain.)
Aix-en-Provence, Musee

Figure 6
Paul Cezanne
The Artist's Father, 1866
Oil on canvas, 198.5 x
119.3 (/SVs x 47 in.)
Washington, D.C., National
Gallery of Art, Collection
of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
fantasy paintings of the same years, in this still life put side by side in competition
and comparison. Thus this oil is also a marker of the importance of the still-life genre
to Cezanne as a place in which to study process and signature technique.
Its blue cup, striking a note similar to that of the blue pot in the Getty Still
Life, is the only thing with much delicacy in the composition, but its gilt-edged ele-
gance is lost in the gluey working of the painting's surface. The sugar bowl is one
often found in Cezanne's later still-life compositions: the relationship among it, the
blue cup, and the fruit—three simple pears, rather than apples—is not unlike the
more complex spacing and impinging of objects one upon the other found in Still
Life with Blue Pot. But for all its dark, almost claustrophobic narrowness, Still Life:
Sugar Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup suggests something more of human use—that some-
one might sugar the tea and drink it—than the Getty Still Life or many of its late
cohorts in oil or watercolor. But what many of those late still lifes have that the couil-
larde little oil has none of is the suggestion of a space that expands outward from,
around, and beyond the arrangement of objects and the picture frame that houses it.
Classic still lifes from Cezanne's middle period, such as the 1880 Still Life with
Compotier (fig. 2), which both Maurice Denis and Roger Fry chose as the centerpiece
of their celebrations of Cezanne the patron saint of modern painting, substitute
a screen of regularized paint strokes and an Impressionist-inflected, lightened-up

palette for the dark density of the earlier work. They also begin to open up the space
around their narrow shelves of objects to a degree, by the traditional means of pro-
jecting knife and drawer handles. The leafy blue-green wallpaper in the 1880 still life
evokes the air and verdure of the outdoors. Meanwhile, a half-full glass of water
still suggests that someone might pick it up and drink it, while the knife suggests
that someone might cut one of the apples, and the dark, outward-projecting drawer
handle, with its peculiarly diminished prong of shadow, suggests that we ourselves
might be tempted to stretch out a hand, pull it, and look inside. For his part, Fry saw
that black handle and its shadow as a flaw in Cezanne's composition, a defect (some-
thing like a facial tic) that marred the obviously consistent "handwriting" of the rest
and thus impugned the expressionist logic of the still life's "deformations"—namely,
its diagonal brushwork and the stretched-out contours of its objects, most obviously
the warped ellipse of the compotier and the conical apex of the rightmost apple, sig-
natures of Cezanne's special way of feeling and painting, as Fry saw it. Indeed,
instead of wanting to stretch out his hand and open up the drawer, Fry expressed a
desire to "cover this part of the canvas with an indiscreet finger," thus simultaneously
emphasizing its literal surface over its fictive space, wishing away any fantasized
bodily encounter with that space, and yet willy-nilly interjecting a piece of himself, his
own digit, into, onto, and over it. No matter, somehow Still Life with Compotier
solicits some sort of physical reaction from its viewer—some response of the hand
as well as the eye.
Roughly a decade later, at the end of the eighties and into the nineties,
Cezanne was painting still-life pictures in oil that widened the space of the tabletop
out to implications of a room beyond, sometimes the kitchen, sometimes the atelier,
sometimes both, sometimes neither, or neither very clearly. Most complexly, Still
Life with Basket; or, The Kitchen Table of 1888-90 (fig. 7) takes a crowded wooden
table with napkin, pears, ginger jar, matching pitcher and sugar bowl (the same
sugar bowl as in the little 1866 oil), and picnic basket of fruit and linen balancing
on the table's upper-right corner—replete with the "deformations" of the basket's dis-
tension, the teetering of the porcelain ware, and the jogging of the table edge—and
sets it flat within a furniture-crowded space that includes floor and wall, one chair or
stool leg at the right edge of the picture, one straw-bottomed chair whose top disap-
pears beyond the upper-left corner of the painting, a piece of screen (painted by
Cezanne himself) and a piece of painting canvas or portfolio on the floor, and a
bureau or sideboard at the left edge of the painting on which sit a satchel, a palette,
and possibly an inkwell.
A half-dozen years after that, Cezanne painted Still Life with Plaster Cast
(c. 1894; fig. 32), for which a number of studies in watercolor were done as well. There
he added onions to his tabletop apples, a plaster cupid that still sits in his studio
(whose original was once thought to be by the seventeenth-century Provencal sculp-
tor Pierre Puget), a fold of blue tapestry with two apples in it at left, and a steeply
inclined floor walled by stacked canvases (by Cezanne), culminating, in the upper-
right corner of the picture, in a cropped canvas depicting the bottom of a sculpture

Figure 7
Paul Cezanne
Stili Life with Basket; or,
The Kitchen Table, 1888-90
Oil on canvas, 65 x 80 cm
5 1
(25 /8 x 3i / in.)
Paris, Musee d'Orsay
R.F. 2819
by Michelangelo—or rather a plaster cast after that sculpture, which also still sits in
the studio. A loose piece of green fruit, indeterminately an apple, sits at the base of
that canvas-cum-sculpture-cum-cast. Where Still Life with Basket; or, The Kitchen
Table situated its still life in the space named in its title, insinuating art making into
that space with its palette, inkwell, screen, and portfolio, and hinting at expeditions
outside into the landscape with the picnic basket and the satchel, Still Life with
Plaster Cast, in contrast, clearly situates the still life in the atelier, while playing on
the relationship between dimensions (two and three), media (painting within paint-
ing and sculpture within painting), and copies (a painting within a painting after a
copy of a sculpture). That is pure studio play; no food preparation takes place in Still
Life with Plaster Cast, not even the preparing of a painter's picnic basket for an out-
ing to paint Mont Sainte-Victoire, perhaps. But a relationship to the kitchen is at least
intimated by the inclusion of homely onions among the painting's studio apples.4
Both paintings suggest two things that are important to our understanding of
the Getty Still Life with Blue Pot. The first is the tying of the surface of the canvas and
the top of the still-life table to a physical space in which one is not only invited to
handle things but is also offered chairs in which to sit and floors on which to stand or
walk. The second is this: that the space of the atelier stands in relation to the domestic

Figure 8
Paul Cezanne
St/7/ Life with Apples, 1893-94
Oil on canvas, 65.4 x 81.6 cm
3 1
(25 /4 x 32 /s in.)
Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty
Museum 96.PA.8
realm as well as to the world beyond the confines of both the studio and the home,
and that relationship is one of imbrication, off-stage allusion, and substitution, all at
once. Which is to say that studio, home, and landscape are related in these still lifes
by the hinted inclusion of one in the other, by the suggestion that the atelier, like the
canvas itself, is hinged to another world whose edge we are given a glimpse of, and
by one standing in place of the other: the studio replaces the kitchen and the larger
domestic world of which it is part, just as it stands in for the even larger outer world
into which we know the painter ventured, as a painter if not as a person with a pri-
vate life warranting a biography.
Other still lifes of the period—roughly a decade before-Still Life with Blue
Pot—are less spatially expansive, but their Provencal habitat is nonetheless as clear
as can be. Such is the case, for instance, with the Getty's own Still Life with Apples of

1893~94 (fig- 8). That canvas has a two-toned blue wall behind its tabletop arrange-
ment—a peculiarly accordion-like wall that seems to have at least one extra corner
crease and thus threatens to reverse the inward recession of the wall into outward
projection—but it has no floors or room corners or extra furnishings to suggest
walking, sitting, movement, or connection between one space and the next. What it
does have—besides the familiar sugar bowl, the ubiquitous apples, and a red-striped
cloth similar to the one in the Getty watercolor—is a world of provincial faience and
fabric found throughout Cezanne's still lifes. That world is Provence through and
through, from its Marseilles olive jar, to its decorated sugar bowl, to its straw-
wrapped ginger pot and rum bottle, to its blue tapestry.5 Thus the rustic objects
found in this and many similar still lifes tie the signature "handwriting" of Cezanne
to the signature of Provence, and thus despite their insignificance, indeed in their
very humbleness, they are significant indeed; they signify a locality, a life lived in a
particular place. In that simple way at least, they are "biographical." And although the
watercolor Still Life with Blue Pot has none of the pottery of the Getty oil, save for the
little pitcher whose decoration is not clearly inscribed, it too is signed with a
Provencal signature—nowhere more clearly than in the mounded tapestry rising
up at the left like the hump of Mont Sainte-Victoire and falling down and around to
embrace the rest and determine the palette of the whole, a blue-, green-, red-, and
ocher-dominated palette that is pure Provence. These were the colors, as Denis put
it, of "ancient faiences," but they were also those of the earth, sky, sea, verdure,
and red roofs of Cezanne's native landscape.6
IF THE GETTY STILL LIFE is Provence through and through, so was Cezanne
himself, who of the painters attached to the Impressionist group traveled the
least; was most identified with a single local landscape, that of and around Aix-en-
Provence; and was least attached to the movable feast and touristic world of Paris
and its suburbs and their transient population and lifestyle. Born (out of wedlock) in
Aix in 1839 to a hatter and his mistress and soon-to-be-wife (Louis-Auguste Cezanne
and Anne Elizabeth Honorine Aubert, a native of Aix), Cezanne grew up, went to
public school and then lycee, befriended the Aixois Emile Zola and Henri Gasquet,
enrolled in the Ecole Gratuite de Dessin (free school of drawing), and went to law
school at his father's insistence, all in the good provincial town of Aix-en-Provence.
(By that time his father had become a banker and property owner, a bon bourgeois of
Aix.) Cezanne first left Aix for Paris in 1861, at Zola's urging. Thereafter, he went
back and forth between Paris and Aix, first returning to Aix in September of 1861,
six months after having left for Paris, to do a stint in his father's bank. He returned
to Paris a little over a year later, in November of 1862, and remained until July of
1864. He was back in Paris the next year, only to return to Aix in the winter. The year
1866 saw him returning to Paris and then to Aix again, and then back to Paris. It

went on like this, with sojourns in Auvers and Pontoise and other places and longer
periods of residence in L'Estaque, on the bay of Marseilles, through the seventies —
including the siege of Paris, during which he dodged the draft, and the Commune of
1870-71—and into the eighties, though Cezanne's stays in Aix and L'Estaque grew
longer and longer and his intervals in Paris shorter and shorter. By the time his father
died, in December of 1886, and the family's Jas de Bouffan property on the western
outskirts of Aix was bequeathed to his children (Paul, Marie, and Rose Honorine —
the two sisters were two and fifteen years younger than Paul, respectively), Cezanne
had resettled in Aix, although he continued to make trips to Paris and elsewhere. By
the nineties and the rise of Cezanne's fame, painters were making pilgrimages to Aix
to see him, and from then until the end of his life, in 1906, he was the hermit painter
and master of Aix.
Cezanne himself remarked on his ties to Aix, "When I was in Aix, it seemed
to me that I would be better elsewhere; now when I'm elsewhere I miss Aix."7 Many
a provincial boy with high ambitions must have felt similar ambivalence, but in
Cezanne's case there was a particular Aixois flavor to the love/hate feeling about his
provincial birthplace: while in one breath he complained bitterly of the "steppes of
the good city of Aix and its provincial population, in the next he said, "I wouldn't be
here if it weren't for the fact that I love the configuration of my countryside so
deeply." Speaking of Zola and Gasquet as well as himself, he wrote: "In us the vibra-
tion of sensations reverberating from the good Provencal sun have never died, our
old souvenirs of youth, of those horizons, those landscapes, those unexpected lines
have left in us so many profound impressions."9 But many other provincial boys
stayed away. Zola, for one, became a confirmed Parisian, but not Cezanne, who said
that in spite of all of his complaints about Aix old and new: "I was born there, and it
is there that I will die. Today everything in reality changes, but not for me, I live in
the town of my childhood, and it's under the eyes of people of my own age and place
that I revisit the past." And indeed it was in Aix that he was born and in Aix that
he died.
Although it was the landscape of Aix for which Cezanne expressed his yearn-
ing, the Aixois feeling permeates his still lifes at least as much as his landscapes: not
only by looking a bit like landscapes, some of them (we will have occasion to return
to this theme with regard to Still Life with Blue Pot), but also in the ways that I have
enumerated—the pots and glassware, the fabrics, the rough-hewn furnishings, the
palette. Even his "handwriting" had an Aixois feel to it: from the crude couillarde fac-
ture of the early years to the distensions and crookednesses and even the tilt and
pitch of space and brush stroke of the later years. One thinks of these things as
Cezanne's personal peculiarities—and indeed they were—but experience of the geo-
logical and vegetal growth patterns of the Provencal countryside begins to corrobo-
rate the Aixois inflection of those peculiarities and the importance of Cezanne's
immersion in Aix. There was, in short, a kind of Provencal accent to Cezanne's still
lifes as much as to his landscapes. And that accent was one that Cezanne cultivated
in life as well as in art, nowhere more so than in Paris. There, caricaturing the model

of Courbet, he exaggerated his provincial identity by playing the country bumpkin
to the hilt, often burlesquing the southern twang of his Provencal French, delib-
erately affecting coarse language and insisting on uncouth clothing and manners. In
short, quite as much as the painting style he adopted early on, the identity he wore
was a couillarde one.
Of course Paris was important to Cezanne: its artistic society, its exhibition
culture, and its museums, not to mention the contrast it provided to Aix, the impe-
tus to return there that it gave him, and the reinforcement of his outsider status that
it furnished. Indeed it intensified his identification with Aix and Provence. In Paris
he attended the Academic Suisse (the Parisian free school of drawing where so many
of the new generation of painters met), where he met other Aixois refugees (such as
the dwarf painter Achille Emperaire, whom he painted at the end of the sixties) as
well as other outsiders, such as Camille Pissarro. (Meanwhile he also reenrolled in
the Ecole Gratuite de Dessin in Aix. Unlike others of the Impressionists-to-be, he
never enrolled in an academic studio in Paris.) There in Paris he attended Zola's
Thursday evening soirees, visited Manet's studio, copied in the Louvre, submitted
paintings to the annual Salons, and was rejected with a consistency that exceeded the
experience of all of the other "new painters."11 There he got his paints from Pere
Tanguy and others and eventually began to sell paintings and watercolors to Victor
Chocquet (see pi. 20) and other interested parties. There he went to the Cafe Guerbois
and later the Nouvelle-Athenes to discuss the "new painting" and other subjects with
Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and others, and it was there that Monet recalled
that Cezanne "pushed his jacket aside with a movement of the hips worthy of a zinc-
worker, pulled up his pants, and openly readjusted the red belt to the side. After that
he shook everyone's hand. But in Manet's presence he removed his hat and smiling,
said through his nose: 'I won't give you my hand, Monsieur Manet, I haven't washed
for eight days.'"
And there in Paris the "curious Provencal," as Pissarro called him, joined the
Impressionist group for its first exhibitions, contributing three works to the inaugu-
ral exhibition of 1874 (one of which was A Modern Olympia, Cezanne's caricatural
response to Manet's famous painting), and sixteen works to the third exhibition, in
1877, including some watercolors and still lifes (pi. 20), some bathers, and above all
landscapes. Although he bowed out of the second show, in 1876, and after 1877 never
again participated in the exhibitions himself, he remained tied to the group that
became known as the Impressionists. Later, after becoming for a while the "forgot-
ten painter" of the new art, it was in Paris that he began to be recognized by critics,
younger artists, and the dealer Ambroise Vollard, who gave him his first solo exhibi-
tion in Paris in 1895 (while Cezanne himself remained in Aix). It was finally in Paris
that a room at the Salon d'Automne was devoted to Cezanne's work in 1904; in Paris
that another ten paintings were exhibited in the Salon d'Automne of the next year,
with a show of watercolors up at Vollard's earlier the same year (1905); and in Paris
that there were two rooms full of Cezanne's paintings, again at the Salon d'Automne,
in 1907, the year after his death in Aix.

It was also in Paris that the other side of Cezanne's life began to take shape:
a private life so private that it was for a long while a secret—a private life, moreover,
that was eventually separate from his painting life, as private as that was too. For it
was in Paris, in 1869, that Cezanne first met the Jura-born model and seamstress
Emelie Hortense Piquet, who became first his mistress; then the mother of his only
son, Paul, born out of wedlock in 1872; and finally his wife in 1886, just before the
death of his father that year. This was in some ways a repetition of his own parents'
story, as they too did not marry until after Cezanne's birth. In other ways it was a
tremendous source of anxiety for Cezanne, who, requiring his father's support and
already worried about his disapproval, was forced to keep the relationship with
Hortense hidden from his family. Indeed he went to great lengths to do so; part of
the reason for his choice of L'Estaque rather than Aix on many of his southern
sojourns was to keep his father unaware of Hortense's existence. (His father, having
been elected to the city council of Aix in 1870, was all the more conscious of his good
bourgeois reputation and undoubtedly all the more desirous of forgetting aspects of
his own earlier life with Cezanne's mother.) The threesome lived together in Auvers
in 1873, but more often Hortense and then Paul as well were hidden in L'Estaque,
while Cezanne journeyed from there to visit his family at Jas de Bouffan in Aix.
Sometimes they were sequestered in Marseilles; sometimes they were stowed away
in Paris. Hortense herself chose to live apart from Cezanne in Paris.
Cezanne wrote to his mother about the birth of his son, Paul, in 1872 but with
her help kept it a secret from his father. Rather than go to his father for additional
money to support his family, he sought help from Zola, who had become a re-
spectable married man himself in 1870, the year after Cezanne met Hortense.
Meanwhile Cezanne continued to communicate with his mother, but not his father,
about Hortense and Paul. In 1878, however, his father began to read his letters and
suspect that something was up. First Louis-Auguste threatened to cut off his son's
allowance, but then he seemed to come to terms with the fact of his son's menage.
Ultimately both of Cezanne's parents attended the marriage ceremony in 1886 that
legitimized Paul and regularized Cezanne's personal life. It was this "sentimental
journey" that Zola immortalized so luridly in The Masterpiece of 1886, the famous
story of a failed modern artist and his irregular household, which blended Cezanne's
life story with those of Manet and Monet and gave it a tragic ending that was contra-
dicted, perhaps deliberately, by Cezanne's neatening of his domestic arrangement
later that year. But so clearly did the novel lean on Zola's knowledge of Cezanne's sit-
uation, his awareness of Cezanne's notorious uneasiness around women and anxi-
eties about the female model (awkward and anxious, he alternated between intense
fear of physical contact and sudden submission to fierce and clumsy desires where
women were concerned), and his feelings about Cezanne's art, that it resulted in a
permanent parting of ways between the two old Aixois friends.15
The marriage of Cezanne and Hortense, the death of his father, the availabil-
ity of the property of Jas de Bouffan to the painter and his friends (Pierre-Auguste
Renoir came to visit him there): this confluence of events settled Cezanne's life in

Aix. But, curiously, it did not end the seclusion of Hortense and Paul or the segrega-
tion of Cezanne's painting from his private life. Indeed, for all intents and purposes,
it would appear that the Cezanne marriage increasingly became a kind of inconve-
nient marriage of convenience. Vincent van Gogh described it enviously as a "middle
class marriage" that allowed him to get a "hard-on" in his work rather than in real-life
"debauchery."16 t his responsibility to
Although Cezanne was scrupulous abou
Hortense and Paul, they continued to live apart from him, going to Paris while he
went back to Aix after an unsatisfactory family trip to Switzerland in 1890; after that
he had to force them to return to Aix, but when they did so, they lived in an apart-
ment while he lived with his mother at }as de Bouffan. There was trouble between
Cezanne mere and Cezanne's wife; that was part of the reason why the couple so
often lived apart. At the same time it is clear that Cezanne and Hortense, both
extremely difficult people by all accounts — Cezanne all but schizophrenic and
Hortense apparently dull, recalcitrant, and unpleasant—were more or less estranged
from fairly early on, although Cezanne continued obsessively to paint the woman his
friends disparagingly called "la boule," and she repeatedly sat still to be painted.17 As
for his son, Paul, Cezanne called him "the brat" when he was a child but clearly felt
growing affection for him as he grew to manhood.
After the 1890 trip the family sometimes traveled together but were more
often than not to be found in separate places, even when they were all in Aix, and
especially as Paul grew up and Cezanne began constructing studios for himself apart
from his domicile—the first in 1900, the second and final one at Les Lauves, on the
northern outskirts of Aix, which he bought in 1901 and whose construction was com-
pleted the following year (fig. 9). Although the latter was owned in common by
Figure 9
Exterior of Cezanne's studio
at Les Lauves, 1902

Cezanne and his wife, it became a home away from home for Cezanne, and after his
death it passed, along with his inheritance, to Paul, not to Hortense, who gave up her
share of it. Meanwhile, when Hortense fell sick, Cezanne instructed his son to take
care of her; when he himself became ill, he was cared for first by a housekeeper and
then by his gardener, and indeed on October 22, 1906, Hortense and Paul arrived at
the Les Lauves studio too late to be with Cezanne as he died. In short, even after his
marriage, Cezanne continued to live apart from his household and increasingly lived
his painting apart from his private life.
HEN CEZANNE PAINTED HIS SON AND WIFE over the years, he most often
did so in a way that suggested no particular intimacy with them and gave
them no special status. As for his other subjects—landscape, genre, nudes, and still
life—they seem, for the most part, devoid of familial resonance. In the neighborhood
of still life, however, there are some early exceptions to this rule in the media of pen-
cil and watercolor. On one sketchbook sheet from about 1878 (fig. 10), Cezanne pen-
ciled two views of his then six-year-old son: oriented differently on the page, like two
views of an apple, one faces outward with a shadow behind his head, while the other
sinks diagonally into the surface of the page as if it were a pillow, one in the upper-
right and the other in the lower-left corner, depending on the orientation of the page.
Those views of his son's head, detached from the rest of his body, share space with
one partial view of a classical female figure (lower right); one complete view in a
very different "handwriting"—heavy, awkward, and recursive in its lines—of a male
nude with his arms outstretched (upper left); and one rendering of a drinking glass
spreading its shadow or reflection on the surface of the sheet of paper (middle left).
The latter is the only still-life item on the page, and it shares space with disparate
subject matter in the manner of sketchbook notes jotted down as they came to the
painter, possibly at different times, and as he moved the sheet around to find room
for his jottings. Yet, no doubt unintentionally, their companionship on the same
sheet of paper links the seemingly impersonal to the personal—the studio study of
the glass to the tender rendering of his child. And the glass mediates formally be-
tween the two views of Paul, one more intimate than the other: the deadpan portrait
gaze, with its foursquareness and its shadow, of the one and the sleepy sidelong look
and diagonal disposition of the other are somehow combined in the lines of the sim-
ple glass.
In the exhibition there are some related sketchbook drawings of Paul at the
age of ten (pis. 2, 3). Cezanne drew his son this way numerous times. Part of a sketch-
book owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art that opens with several pages of
drawings of Paul asleep, this particular series of pages begins with a partial view of
the boy's wide-awake face set next to a drawing of his relaxed, partly uncurled hand
lying palm up. On the verso of that page, overlapping parts of a bed frame and chair

Figure 10
Paul Cezanne
Sketchbook Page with Two
Studies of Paul Cezanne
(Son), a Female Half-Figure
Study, a Bather, and a Class
(recto), c. 1878
Graphite, with ink blot,
on paper, 24.8 x 30.8 cm
(9 /4 x 121/8 in.)
Vienna, Albertina 24088
back are penciled in, followed on the next page by another view of the sleeping Paul,
shown half lost to the blank of the page like a swimmer half submerged in water. The
verso of that page, in turn, shows another view of the head and hand of Cezanne fils.
This time the hand is to the left and the head to the right, the hand is shown from
the side, palm side down but in a similar gesture as before, and the head, eye closed
and mouth half open, is again shown half drowned in pillows as if they were ripples
of water. Curiously, the hand, which is probably the hand of the sleeping son, is pre
sented as if it might be a drawing (or writing) hand, with the index finger curled over
a gently flexed thumb. (Something of the same gesture is found in the supine hand
on the first of these four pages.) Thus the hand movements of drawing, the uncon-
scious gestures of sleep, the intimate relations of the family, and the sequence of
notebook pages are linked to one another in a somatic chain.

Plate 2
Paul Cezanne rough the subconscious logic of notebook This particular series of pages begins with a
Head of a Child and Hand T hsequencing and the recto/verso alternation partial view of Paul's wide-awake face set next to
(recto) / Bedpost and Chair of sketchbook folios, Cezanne made links between a drawing of his hand lying palm up. On the
Back (verso)
Graphite and graphite offset, the intimacy of the family, the furnishings of verso of the page, Cezanne penciled in overlapping
9 3 the studio and the house, and the space of still parts of a bed frame and chair back.
11.6 x 18.2 cm (4 /ie x 7 /ie in.)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia life. A sketchbook owned by the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Museum of Art includes several pages of drawings
Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg, from around 1882 that show Cezanne's son, Paul.


Plate 3
Paul Cezanne his sketchbook page, which follows the one a drawing (or writing) hand. (Something of the
The Artist's Son Asleep T same gesture is found in the supine hand on the
discussed previously (pi. 2), displays a
(recto) / Head and Hand of view of the sleeping Paul. Its verso, in turn, shows recto of the previous page [pi. 2].) Thus the hand
the Artist's Son Asleep (verso) another view of the head and hand of Cezanne movements of drawing, the unconscious gestures
Graphite and graphite
offset, 11.6 x 18.2 cm fils: this time the hand is shown from the side, of sleep, the intimate relations of the family,
9 and the sequence of notebook pages are linked
(4 /ie x /Vie in.) palm side down but in a similar gesture as before,
Philadelphia, Philadelphia and the head is again shown half drowned in to one another in a somatic chain.
Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and pillows. The hand, which is probably the hand
Mrs. Walter H.Annenberg, of the sleeping son, is presented as if it might be


But what have these to do with still life? A larger, watercolored page from a
different, slightly later notebook (mid-i88os), also in the collection of the Phila-
delphia Museum of Art (figs. 11, 12), helps to provide the answer. It has a still life
with knife and carafe on the recto of .the page and a bed and bedside table (which
looks remarkably like the table Cezanne used in his studio) on the verso, so that stu-
dio and bedroom are literally flip sides of each other. It is one of many such conjunc-
tions in Cezanne's pencil and watercolor notebook work, and it points back to the
bed and chair backs in the sequence of pages just described. Not still life in the tradi-
tional sense, they are just that in the literal meaning of the phrase: inanimate objects
that do not move. They are like the furnishings in some of the still lifes proper, such
as Still Life with Basket; or, The Kitchen Table, and they provide the missing link
between still life and other spaces of domestic use and human habitation. They are
also tied to the renderings of Cezanne's son: awake, perhaps sitting up in a chair in
one, asleep and immersed in a bed in the two others, his detached hand in a sleeping
position that recalls the waking body language of sitting at a table and drawing or
writing. And they suggest one of the prime thought processes of the studio, in which
the genre of still life and the medium of pencil and watercolor on paper participate
equally: the note-taking linkage of disparate spaces and subjects in the unconscious
logic of notebook sequencing and recto/verso alternation. Elsewhere Cezanne would
tie bodies to apples and oranges on single sheets, and in this notebook and others he
runs through the entire range of subjects that used to make up the old academic hier-
archy of genres: history painting and the nude, genre imagery, portraiture, landscape,
still life. But in certain sequences the relationships among the furnishings of the stu-
dio and the house, the space of still life, and human intimacy are more direct and
In 1885 Cezanne sketched his wife, as he had done earlier with his son, with
her head sinking diagonally into a pillow (upper right), on the same page with a
more fully rendered hydrangea blossom (left), again oriented differently, requiring
the turning of the page (horizontal for Hortense's head, vertical for the flower) or the
viewer's head to see each in its proper orientation (fig. 13). As in the pages on which
Paul is shown sleeping, Hortense's head seems to sink sleepily into the paper as if it
were a pillow from which she gazes half-awake, not quite at her viewer, with pillow
folds, wisps of hair, and crease in the neck all caught with a delicate pencil that then
produces, as if automatically, a hovering, caressing set of hatch marks, detached from
their referent, just barely attaching her to the cream surface of the paper. Unlike the
page with the two views of his son's head, and despite the fact that one is filled in
with watercolor and the other not, the drawings on this sheet must have been done
at the same time, for there is a conscious punning of names between Hortense and
the French word for hydrangea, hortensia, as if the sketch sheet were a natural place
for wordplay to join hands with the working out of visual ideas, where linguistic play
can be tried out as a visual analogy (which is discovered to yield as much difference
as similarity). Here there seems little to link the two sketches but the names of their
subject matter—except perhaps the feminine connotations of the flower, not to mention

Figure 11 Figure 12
Paul Cezanne Paul Cezanne
Carafe and Knife (recto), Bed and Table (verso),
€.1882 c. 1882
Watercolor and graphite Watercolor and graphite
on paper, 21.9 x 27.3 cm on paper, 27.3 x 21.9 cm
5 3 3 5
(8 /s x io /4 in.) (io /4 x 8 / in.)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia Philadelphia, Philadelphia
Museum of Art, Museum of Art,
A. E. Gallatin Collection, A. E. Gallatin Collection,
1952-61-11 1952-61-11
the flower drawing, and the self-evident femininity of Hortense's face, which is in fact
more "feminine" here than in any of the oil portraits of her and is rendered with such
an uncharacteristic delicacy, intimacy, and poignant grace as to endow the rendering
itself with a kind of femininity.
At the same time, Cezanne's wife is like the penciled inside-out of the water-
colored flower: the folds of the pillow on which she rests are like inverted versions
of the complex lines of the leaves enframing the blossom of the hortensia, so that
each is like the verso of the other. Finally, with the folds of the pillow embracing
Hortense's cheek, this sketch suggests, even more intensely than before, in the draw-
ing of Paul, that the sheet of paper is a space of drowsy softness shared by Cezanne
as he looks from his pillow and his low vantage point to hers, a somatic space in

Figure 13 which a connection between the biographical and the still-life subject occurs. This
Paul Cezanne drawing-and-watercolor page is not a still life per se, but it brings the subjects of por-
Madame Cezanne with trait and floral still life in conjunction with each other. Drawn and painted just prior
Hortensias, c. 1885
Watercolor and graphite to the time that Cezanne's home life was regularized by marriage, legitimization of
on paper, 30.5 x his son, the death of his father, and his coming into property, it suggests the missing
46 cm (12 x i8Ve in.) link between the processes of the studio and the familiarities of the house, the green-
Private collection house, and the bed, as well as the relationship between intimate and dispassionate
observation. Unusually, it looks like a kind of tribute or love letter, although of course
it may have been nothing of the sort. The diminution of Hortense's head in relation

to the hortensia bloom, and its lack of color, also suggests some distantiation, as if in
memory. Either way, this drawing-cum-watercolor speaks to the way such associa-
tions are produced, in the studio, out of a half-conscious web in which language and
vision, drawing and coloring, eye and hand, objective and intimate relations are inti-
mately yet differentially related.
But these sketches are very rare intimations of intimacy within the zone of
still life. None of Cezanne's other bathers, or portrait heads, or even florals in either
oil or watercolor suggests the relationships between different subject material or the
connections between biography and the studio that these do so directly. The glass in
one sketch, the flower in the other, and the bits of bed, chair, plate, and knife in the
others do, however, say something about how that connection operated elsewhere in
still life: by formal substitutions and reversals, inflections and off-page intimations.
As we have already seen, Cezanne could inflect the studio with the kitchen—the
space of art with that of domesticity—and vice versa in his still lifes, as if, indeed,
still life were the place to work out, ever so elusively, the disconnect between art and
household that marked his life. As we have also seen, within his still lifes he could
intimate an offstage space that might just be the studio's absent home. He could
include furnishings that suggested bodily inhabitation but that gaped with the
absence of actual bodies or of people with whom he was familiar. And he could, as
he did in Still Life with Blue Pot, deploy the physical and formal associations between
objects as substitutes for the social and affective ties between people: I, for one, have
only to look at the triangular relationship between blue pot, slender white pitcher,
and smaller white pot, in which the blue pot lords it over the others, the white pitcher
stands aside, and the little white pot both mimics and tries to hold its own against
the blue pot above and behind it, jostling slightly with it, to start thinking of the fam-
ily triangle of father, mother, and son, and more generally of the jockeying for power
and the play of dominion and submission that mark human relations. These connec-
tions are all in the imagination, of course, which is where Cezanne left them; they
depend upon still life's innate joining of the atelier and the domicile, to which we
will return in the next section.
Cezanne's late watercolors, like Still Life with Blue Pot, mostly belong to the
period of the Les Lauves studio, when an ill and cantankerous Cezanne had defin-
itively separated the two sides of his life. Yet the late watercolor still lifes, as a group,
are also the more suggestive of various kinds of relationships to a world beyond the
studio than any of his other work of the period, including the still lifes in oil. Earlier
sketches, such as those in which Cezanne tried out homely rumpled beds and hang-
ing towels as still-life subjects, had intimated that relationship in some of the ways
just outlined. A curtained doorway (fig. 14) suggests the relation between studio
property and serviceable fabric, not to mention the threshold of a world beyond the
studio: the house and family of Cezanne? A little green jug in watercolor and pencil,
also from the mid-eighties (pi. 4), suggests some sort of human bravado in its lone
stance against a studio shelf or wall: its roundness, its strange effect of small monu-
mentality, and its two handles—one atop its lip, the other curving from its mouth

Figure 14
Paul Cezanne
Curtains, 1885
Watercolor, gouache,
and graphite on
white paper, 49 x
307 cm (19 x 12 in.)
Paris, Musee du
Louvre, Fonds Orsay
past its neck to its hip—are irresistible in suggesting a fat little complacent figure,
body replete with belly outthrust, head erect, and arm akimbo. Thus it suggests some
of the human affect proposed above for the central triangle of objects in the Getty
still life. And Jacket on a Chair (pi. 5) from the early 18905, rendered in pencil with
a hint of watercolor, suggests human habitation by dint of its very absence. With its
empty, crumpled jacket, it is even more blatant in that suggestion than Cezanne's
sketches of empty chairs, and at the same time it situates its uncanny effect of

Plate 4
Paul Cezanne his famous watercolor from the mid-i88os with belly outthrust and arm akimbo, standing
The Green Pot, 1885-87 Tof a little green-glazed Provencal jug singularly against the studio wall for all the
Watercolor and graphite suggests some of the anthropomorphism, in this world like a human model. Further, it represents
on paper, 22 x 24.7 cm
11 3 case a kind of human bravado, that animates Cezanne's earlier, more traditional method
(8 /i6 x 9 /4 in.)
Paris, Musee du Louvre even Cezanne's most modest still-life subjects. of penciling and modeling an object and then
Its roundness and the configuration of its filling out its volume in watercolor.
two handles suggest a complacent little figure,

Plate 5
Paul Cezanne
Jacket on a Chair, 1890-92
Watercolor and graphite
on paper, 47.5 x 30.5 cm
(i811/ie x 12 in.)
Private collection
ith its empty, crumpled garment,Vac/ret
Won a Chair is even more blatant in
suggesting human inhabitation by dint of its very
absence than Cezanne's sketches of empty
chairs. At the same time it situates that uncanny
effect of human presence-in-absence in the
studio, as a studio exercise. It consists mostly of
reiterated pencil line and shading, supplemented
and colored in with faint washes of watercolor.

Figure 15
Paul Cezanne
Still Life with Apples,
Pears, and a Pot, 1900-1904
Watercolor and graphite
on white paper, 28.1 x
47.8 cm (11 x 18 3A in.)
Paris, Musee du Louvre,
Fonds Orsay
human presence-in-absence in the studio, as a studio exercise. In short, watercolor
sketches had long been the site of experimentation with still life's possibilities of
biographical intimation.
It was in the late watercolor still lifes, however, that Cezanne made full-blown
pictures out of such experimentation. There is, for instance, a watercolor of 1900-
1904 that inserts the black handle of a humdrum cooking pot disconcertingly into an
eye-level shelf of fruit whose row of blood-ripened, buttocklike roundnesses thor-
oughly justifies Meyer Schapiro's claims for the sexuality of Cezanne's fruit (fig. 15).
Does that pot handle truly speak of the kitchen anymore? It does so only to index its
removal from the kitchen and the transformation of its function from cooking uten-
sil to studio prop and from there to bodily and sexual displacement: never was a pot
handle atop a couple of pears so preposterously phallic, and never was the row of
fruit in the midst of which it erects itself so fleshy, so cleft, so bloody, and so luscious.
Never, that is to say, were the "apples [pears] of Cezanne" so overtly sexual, so exag-
geratedly corporeal, as in this kitchen-table-which-is-not-a-kitchen-table. The same
pot, by the way, sits more unobtrusively next to a cleft, red-slashed watermelon and
projecting knife handle in another watercolor of the same period (pi. 6). There it is
the watermelon that is sexualized, becoming, as Rainer Maria Rilke would describe
the livid mouth of a vaginal conch in a more famous still life by Cezanne, a "smooth
red orifice" whose "inward carmine bulg[es] out into brightness." But if Cezanne's

Plate 6
Paul Cezanne kitchen pot sits unobtrusively next to this and the Louvre St/7/ Life with Apples, Pears,
St/7/ Life with Cut Aa cleft, red-slashed watermelon and pro- and a Pot (fig. 15) suggest the much more open-
Watermelon, c. 1900 jecting knife handle in this late watercolor. ended relation between pencil contouring and
Watercolor and the pigmented liquidity of watercolor, as well as
graphite on white paper, Here the watermelon is sexualized, becoming, as
31.5 x 47.5 cm Rainer Maria Rilke would describe the livid mouth the more indeterminate position of the study
5 3
(i2 / x i8 /4in.)
8 of a vaginal conch in a more famous still life between sketch and tableau, which characterizes
Riehen/Basel, by Cezanne, a "smooth red orifice" whose "inward Cezanne's late works in watercolor.
Fondation Beyeler 78.1 carmine bulg[es] out into brightness." Both

Figure 16
Paul Cezanne
Bottles, Pot, Alcohol
Stove, and Apples,
c. 1900-1906
Watercolor and graphite
on paper, 47 x 56 cm
(i81/z x 22 in.)
Private collection
"kitchen tables" leave the kitchen behind to assert the context of the studio as the
space of art and its ability to make things into bodies, at the same time they point to
the kitchen offstage—and to the space of the house beyond—by its very absence,
always marking its possible though invisible contiguity with the realm of the studio.
And, paradoxically, they do so more insistently than any other still-life oeuvre that I
can think of.
There is, for instance, from the same period (1900-1906), the table over-
flowing with kitchen items, obviously removed from the kitchen to make a studio
still life, but nevertheless suggesting the kitchen to such a point of excess and over-
load that overdetermination and obsession rear their heads (fig. 16). The kitchen is
simultaneously everywhere and nowhere in the atelier; it is colonized by the atelier,
and it is the atelier's other. Indeed, this "kitchen table" is so chock full of kitchen
implements—bottles, pitchers, pots, burners, sugar casters, and of course fruit—that
it gives new meaning to the expression "everything but the kitchen sink." Yet they
look like such objects look on moving day, gathered together in surplus, not in use, as
if for an inventory of all the kitchen items that had been stolen for studio purposes.
Thus this kitchen table too, in its very excess of kitchenness, marks the replacement
of the kitchen by the studio.

Plate 7
Paul Cezanne his baroque still life returns to the empty or dessert in the studio and even been offered a
Still Life with Apples and Tchair back of earlier sketches and sets it seat at table rather more elegant than the stu-
Chair Back, c. 1904-6 behind a richly colored table full of fruit, a bottle, dio's usual rustic chairs. And yet, poignantly, there
Watercolor and graphite
on white paper, 44.5 x and an empty glass, suggesting with uncharacter- is nobody there after all. As loosely rendered as
59 cm (i/Vz x 2314 in.) istic directness the scene of dining that is still it is, this is a richly complete watercolor tableau.
London, Courtauld life's traditional fare but remarkably absent from
Institute of Art Gallery, the rest of Cezanne's still-life oeuvre. The studio
The Samuel Courtauld Trust, has suddenly become festive, like a pared-down
banquet left over from Cezanne's wild early
years, when he painted orgiastic banquets. It is
as if someone has finally been invited for dinner


Plate 8
Paul Cezanne n The Dessert, a late, exceptional still life later—a piece of fruit on the table? the edge of
The Dessert, 1900-1906 Iin watercolors, the space that is so often a curtain? the edge of another counter surface?—
Watercolor and implied beyond the frame of Cezanne's still lifes there is the hallucination of a sort of profile:
graphite on white paper, is actually glimpsed around the corner of a a bit of a nose and nostril, an eye, even an ear
47 x 61 cm
(iSVz x 24 in.) wall and the far edge of the expansive table, with (just to the right of the curtain of watercolor and
Private collection its compotier and flute glass, the same one that beneath the beginnings of the wavy-lipped
sits waiting in Still Life with Apples and Chair plate). A figment of the studio imagination, this
Back (pi. 7). That space might be the kitchen or spectral profile signals the watercolor's state
a surface in the studio improvised for food of incompletion and its experimental thinking, not
preparation and presentation. In among the hasty, to mention the human absences that animate it.
partial indications of things to be fleshed out

And then there is the baroque still life of 1904-6 that returns to the empty
chair back of other earlier sketches and sets it behind a richly colored table full of
fruit, a bottle, and an empty glass, for the first time suggesting the scene of dining,
which is still life's traditional fare but remarkably absent from the rest of Cezanne's
still-life oeuvre (pi. 7). The studio has suddenly become festive, like a pared-down
banquet left over from Cezanne's wild early years, just before he met Hortense. It
is as if someone—Hortense? Paul?—has finally been invited for dinner or dessert in
the studio and even been offered a seat at table rather more elegant than the studio's
usual rustic chairs. And yet there is nobody there after all.
In one other late, and even more exceptional, still life in watercolors, The
Dessert (pi. 8), the space that is so often implied beyond the frame is actually
glimpsed around the corner of a wall and the far edge of the expansive table, with its
compotier of edible offerings—pears and grapes and perhaps apples or oranges —
and its half-empty (half-full) flute glass, the same one that sits waiting in the still life
just described. That space has a quickly sketched-in countertop, wavy-edged plate,
and some other vessel just begun: it might be the kitchen or a surface in the studio
improvised for food preparation and presentation. In among the hasty, partial indi-
cations of things to be fleshed out later—a piece of fruit on the table? the edge of a
curtain? the edge of another counter surface?—there is the hallucination of a sort of
profile: a bit of a nose and nostril, an eye, even an ear (just to the right of the curtain
of watercolor and beneath the beginnings of the wavy-lipped plate). A self-portrait?
A watcher, waiting for inhabitation? For guests to arrive? For the picture to be
finished? Or is it nobody and nothing at all—just a figment of the studio imagina-
tion, of the pentimenti that are part of a wildly unfinished process, signaling its own
state of incompletion and experimental thinking, the unlikelihood of really taking up
this subject, its distance from the fullness of a picture like the Getty Still Life with
Blue Pot? And of course it is a signature specter of absence in the studio—of all the
biographical absences that hover there.
From the earliest moment of Cezanne's still-life practice there had been a
connection between still life and biography. But from that moment to the period of
Still Life with Blue Pot, the biographical aspect of still life, its studio space and its
objects, had become more and more elusive as Cezanne withdrew from the family as
defined by his father and entered into his life of first secret and then separate non-
cohabitation with Hortense and their son, Paul. In their different ways these excep-
tional late watercolors sign the spectral, off-frame, displaced aspect of the studio's
intimations of intimacy, animacy, and domestic life.

i. In the portrait, Cezanne's father is shown 2. On Cezanne's "couillarde" style, see Jean-
reading the issue of the newspaper L'Evenement in Claude Lebensztejn, Les couilles de Cezanne (Paris:
which Emile Zola had published one of his most Nouvelles Editions Seguier, 1995). The adjective,
scandalous defenses of Manet and the "new which Cezanne adopted with gusto in his early stay
painters" in 1866. Since Cezanne was then in the in Paris in the i86os, lends some support to Meyer
midst of a struggle between the different directions Schapiro's conception of the displacement of sexual-
represented by his father—staying at home and ity onto objects—such that the "apples of Cezanne"
following his father's bidding to enter the bank or become the "couilles de Cezanne"—while also bear-
the law—and Zola—going to Paris and devoting ing out Fry's emphasis on the unconscious signifi-
himself to the "new painting"—the placement of the cance of Cezanne's "handwriting." It referred to the
still life above his father's head in the portrait sug- wild, dark and pasty, and often palette-knifed han-
gests its function as an indeterminate biographical dling deliberately cultivated by Cezanne in his early
signifier—domesticity and the home of the father, period—a kind of cartoon exaggeration of Courbet's
on the one hand, breakaway painting, on the other signature palette-knife work and its caricaturing as
hand. Together its Biedermeier proportions and its untutored and bohemian in the Parisian press of the
thick, palette-knifed handling imply the same struggle. 18505. Yet Cezanne apparently also used the term in
Thus its inclusion in the paternal portrait points conversation later in life to distinguish the boldness
directly to its biographical status. See Franchise of his painting from that of others, suggesting that
Cachin and Joseph }. Rishel, Cezanne (Philadelphia: it did not necessarily refer only to one period of his
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1996), 84. See also painting, but to his signature style more generally.
John Rewald, Cezanne et Zola (Paris: A. Sedrowski,
1936); Rewald, Cezanne—a Biography (New York: 3. Roger Fry, Cezanne: A Study of His Development
Harry N. Abrams, 1986); Rewald, "Cezanne and His (1927; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989),
Father," Studies in the History of Art [4] (1971-72): 47. This painting, copied by Denis both in his group
38-62; Theodore Reff, "The Pictures within portrait and in a freestanding oil that he called
Cezanne's Pictures," Arts Magazine 53 (June 1979): "Cezanne's still life," is a prime example of the
91; Sophie Monneret, Cezanne, Zola ... Lafraternite transformation of Cezanne's couillarde style into
du genie (Paris: Denoel, 1978); and Sidney Geist, the "constructive stroke" that would mark his work
"Father, Father," in Interpreting Cezanne (Cambridge from the late 18705 and early i88os onward. See
and London: Harvard University Press, 1988), Theodore Reff, "Cezanne's Constructive Stroke," Art
30-48. Quarterly 25 (autumn 1962): 214-26.
Sugar Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup currently
hangs in the Musee Granet in Aix-en-Provence along 4. This, of course, is not the only still life with
with other work by Cezanne, mostly in pencil and onions in it; there are many others, and onions are
watercolor, reminding us of its Aixois heritage, and among the perishables that are set out at the atelier
indeed of Cezanne's Aixois formation. The collec- of Les Lauves to remind us of the impermanent
tion of the Musee Granet, presently the municipal objects that were included among Cezanne's homely
art museum of the town of Aix, is based on the studio properties. Indeed, onions were a kind
1849 gift, largely of his own landscape watercolors of signature feature of Cezanne's still-life practice.
of the 18405, given by the classical landscape
painter Francois Marius Granet, born and raised in 5. On Cezanne's Provencal context, see Nina
Aix and a student of J. B. Constantin of the Aixois Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, Cezanne and
Ecole Gratuite de Dessin, to the school in 1849. Provence: The Painter in His Culture (Chicago and
This school was where Cezanne first studied; he no London: University of Chicago Press, 2003). See
doubt saw and was shaped by Granet's Provengal also Mary Tomkins Lewis, Cezanne's Early Imagery
watercolors, although their technique is very differ- (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University
ent from his. See Cezanne au Musee d'Aix (Aix-en- of California Press, 1989), esp. "Poetic Soil: The
Provence: Musee Granet, 1984); Granet: Paysages Background of Provence," 9-22.
de I'lle de France (Aix-en-Provence: Musee Granet,
1984); Granet: Paysages de Provence (Aix-en- 6. See Maurice Denis, "La Peinture," L'Hermitage,
Provence: Musee Granet, 1988); Isabelle Neto- November 15, 1905, 314; cited in Matthew Simms,
Daguerre and Denis Coutagne, Granet, peintre de "Painting on Drawing: Cezanne's Watercolors," in
Rome (Aix-en-Provence: Association des Amis du Cezanne in Focus: Watercolors from the Henry and
Musee Granet, 1992). Rose Pearlman Collection, ed. Laura M. Giles and

Carol Armstrong (Princeton: Princeton University 534- Clearly Cezanne's provincial persona was
Art Museum, 2002), 13-25, esp. 14; also in Gôtz modeled on that of Courbet, who had deliberately
Adriani, Cézanne Watercolors, trans. Russell M. fashioned himself as a rural outsider in the Parisian
Stockman (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1983), 21. art world in the 18405 and 18505. See T. J. Clark,
Image of the People: Gustave Courbet and the
7. "Quand j'étais a Aix, il me semblait que je 1848 Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University
serais mieux autre part, maintenant que je suis ici, Press, 1982).
je regrette Aix" (Cézanne to Solari, Talloires, July 23,
1896, cited in Denis Coutagne and Bruno Ely, Les 13. Pissarro to his son Lucien, December 4, 1895,
Sites cézanniennes du pays d'Aix: Hommage à in Janine Bailly-Herzberg, éd., Correspondance
John Rewald [Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, de Camille Pissarro (Paris: Presses universitaires
1996], 197). de Paris, 1980-91), vol. 4, no. 1181, 128, cited in
Cachin and Rishel, Cézanne, 531.
8. "Et n'eût été que j'aime énormément la con-
figuration de mon pays, je ne serai pas ici." What 14. "Ce peintre trop oublié, M. Cézanne" (}. K.
he complained of were "les prétensions des intel- Huysmans, "Cézanne" [1888], in Certains, in L'art
lectuels de mon pays, tas d'enculés, de crétins moderne/Certains [Paris: Union générale d'éditions,
et de drôles—les steppes de la bonne ville d'Aix" 2 1
WSl» ? )-
(ibid., 228).
15. L'Oeuvre, or The Masterpiece, came out early in
9. "En nous ne s'est pas endormie la vibration de 1886, and Cézanne wrote to Zola for the last time in
sensations répercutées de ce bon soleil de Provence, March of that year, thanking him coldly and speak-
nos vieux souvenirs de jeunesse, de ces horizons, ing of their friendship in the past tense. Zola's novel
de ces paysages, de ces lignes inouïes, qui laissent was an updating of two artist stories that Cézanne
en nous tant d'impressions profondes" (Cézanne admired, Balzac's Le Chef d'oeuvre inconnu and the
to Henri Gasquet, June 1899, cited ibid., 198). Concourt brothers' Manette Salomon, but it also rep-
resented an indictment of modern art and a slander-
10. Complaining about the old Aix, Cézanne also ous characterization of Cézanne, whose irregular
bemoaned the efforts to modernize it, concluding, relationship with Hortense and soon-to-be-famous
"J'y suis né; j'y mourrai. . . . Aujourd'hui tout change anxieties about women, not to mention his black
en réalité, mais non pour moi, je vis dans la ville moods and ill-controlled temper, were thinly veiled
de mon enfance, et c'est dans le regard des gens and combined with the figures of Manet and Monet
de mon âge que je revois le passé" (ibid., 228). in the failed, suicidal protagonist Claude Lantier.
The Masterpiece amounted to a reversal of Zola's
11. Cézanne tried twice to get into the Ecole des earlier championing of Manet and the "new paint-
Beaux Arts in the early sixties, without success. ing" and, in Cezanne's view, a betrayal of their child-
After that, he submitted works to the Salon in 1863, hood friendship. See Robert J. Niess, Zola, Cézanne,
1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1876, and Manet: A Study of "L'Oeuvre" (Ann Arbor:
l88o l88l l882 and l88 He nad University of Michigan Press, 1968); J. Berg, The
1879, > > > 4- a still life
in the Salon des Refusés of 1863 and a portrait Visual Novel: Emile Zola and the Art of His Times
accepted into the Salon of 1882, but only because he (University Park: Pennsylvania State University
got around the jury by listing himself as a student Press, 1992); and my Manet Manette (New Haven
of another painter, a loophole that was rescinded and London: Yale University Press, 2002), 64-68.
the following year. Otherwise none of his Salon sub-
missions was accepted. He did not participate in any 16. Van Gogh to Bernard, August 1888, in Vincent
of the Impressionist exhibitions after 1877 but did van Gogh, Correspondance générale, trans. Maurice
begin exhibiting with Les Vingt in Brussels in 1889. Beerblock and Louis Roëlandt (Paris, 1990), vol. 3,
Thereafter he had other exhibition opportunities, 236-40; cited in Cachin and Rishel, Cézanne, 548.
he began to acquire a critical following, and he was
financially independent because of the inheritance 17. Cezanne's friends and family disliked Hortense,
he received after the death of his father in 1886. and following the fine old tradition of the wife as
But up until then he was alone among the "new the impediment to the genius, most accounts of
painters" in his utter lack of Salon success and his Cezanne's life have been unsympathetic to her and
persistence in spite of it. laid the blame for the difficulties between the couple
at her door. But Cézanne himself cannot have
12. Théodore Duret, Histoire d'Edouard Manet et been easy to live with. Indeed, there is at least one
son oeuvre (Paris: H. Floury, 1902), 63-64; Adolphe suggestion that he may have been all but schizo-
Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres (Paris: Gallimard, phrenic; see Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Cezanne's
1947), 117; cited in Cachin and Rishel, Cézanne, Doubt," in Sense and Non-sense, trans. Hubert L.

Dreyfus and Patricia Allen Dreyfus (Evanston, 111.: watercolor is a subtler version of the sort of word
Northwestern University Press, 1964), 9-25. game that crops up in his youthful letters to Zola.
(Merleau-Ponty takes the opportunity to critique See Paul Cézanne, Correspondance, éd. John Rewald
the tradition of the biography and to invert the (Paris: Editions Grasset et Fasquelîe, 1978), 17-42,
usual determining relationship between a hypothe- 45-61 (1858-59). See also Meyer Schapiro, "The
sis such as Cezanne's "schizoid" temperament' Apples of Cézanne: An Essay on the Meaning
and the oddities of his art, such that it is the art of Still-Life" (1968), in Modern Art: Nineteenth and
that gives meaning to that temperament rather Twentieth Centuries (New York: George Braziller,
than the other way around.) 1979), 1-38-
18. It is possible that the drawings on this page 21. Rainer Maria Rilke, Lettres sur Cézanne, trans.
were done at different times: the bather with Philippe Jacottet (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1991);
outstretched arms relates to a painting that 77. It was Cezanne's uncanny Still Life with a Black
has been dated to 1885 (see Cachin and Rishel, Clock (1869-70), which he gave as a gift to Zola
Cezanne, 178). and which depicted some of Zola's possessions, that
Rilke described this way: "tout à gauche un grand
19. See Theodore Reff and Innis Howe Shoemaker, coquillage baroque du genre triton—étrange avec
Paul Cézanne: Two Sketchbooks (Philadelphia: son embouchure rouge et lisse tournée vers nous.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1989). See also Wayne Son carmin intérieur, qui va s'éclaircissant sur la
Andersen, Cezanne's Portrait Drawings (Cambridge courbure."
and London: MIT Press, 1970).
22. Here I refer to his Banquet (also known as
20. Cézanne was classically educated, very interested the Feast and the Orgy) of 1867-72 and the set of
in language and literature, and tried his hand at images related to it, some of which put elaborate,
poetry early on. The language play involved in this baroque still lifes in the foreground.

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 59

The landscape of Still
seí i/s /oo& again at Still Life which are placed right next to the base of the
with Blue Pot this time without white pot, sitting atop the white cloth with
regard for the possible personal meanings, its red stripe. Two of those three apples sit
biographical resonances, iconography, or right in front of the white pot, and one of
inventory of its objects. This time let us read them is placed at its side, forming a sort of
its formal logic, its spatial relations, its bridge or stepping stone between white pot
passages from object to object. This time let and milk jug, a kind of boulder in the little
us take quite a bit longer and exercise more ravine that is opened up between those two
patience. And this time let us journey through objects (detail 2). On the other side of the
it as if it were a kind of geography, a still life white pot, the unguarded side open to the
that invites the viewer's imaginative entrance space at the right edge of the image, at
into it like a landscape with a road winding a slightly, but only slightly, greater distance,
its way from front to back and soliciting we find a fourth apple, this one nestled
the vicarious traveler's wandering eye. Let us in the multicolored tapestry, right at the
understand it as a landscape that plots its juncture between the napkin and the tapes-
course, again, through the painter's studio try, opening up a sort of valley out of which
while suggesting another opening onto the issues a waterfall of white cloth.
world outside, another kind of association Together these four simple apples serve
with the plein air motif. several not-so-simple purposes. First, they
Seven apples, or perhaps eight, are double the volume of the white pot with their
arranged before, behind, and around a white own volumes, marking, with their own round-
pot, found roughly in the center of the com- nesses, the imaginary passage from side to
position. There are seven or perhaps eight front to side that describes the white pot in
red-gold, roughly spherical objects, three of the round, indexing its projection with their

projecting movement around it. Then, they
graph the symmetry of that central object,
with two apples in front and one apple on
each side of the white pot At the same
time—with each of their slightly different
distances from the center point of the white
pot—they serve to indicate the departures
from symmetry that accompany any act of
perception, any movement of the eye across
and around objects, no matter how smooth
and perfectly formed: the departures from
symmetry that distinguish between the inani-
macy of ideal, Platonic shapes and the Detail 2
animate bodiliness of real, sensate entities,
between abstract concepts and material less, navel-less, stemless apples are barely them closer and closer together, filling the
things that one sees, grasps, and eats—or distinguishable from peaches, oranges, gap between them, until they almost touch
at least wants to see, grasp, and eat—and plums, or even onions. They are barely apples, each other. And now look at the other two
that Cézanne drew with a trembling, bodily but rather spheres, ever so slightly distended, apples, the leftmost one nestled securely in
hand, warping perfection with desire. The and in that too they chart the territory its bed of white cloth, cradled between
four apples also serve to map out relations between the general idea and the particular the two other objects, while the one at the
between positive and negative spaces— sensation of the apple. right is more subtly balanced, ready to roll
between the convex and the concave, be- The handle of the white pot appears just off the flowered tapestry at the slightest
tween masses and crevices, hills and hollows, barely to touch the third of those four apples twitch of its imaginary folds. There is even an
the space that describes objects and the (just as the handle of the blue kettle behind it arcing fold in the tapestry just beneath
space between and around objects, between, appears just barely to touch the very tip of that apple, which suggests the trajectory of
in short, the presence and absence of objects. the hilt of the white pot's lid—of its apex or its future fall.
Further, the four apples help to diagram its nipple, depending on whether one wants But there are seven—or even eight—
the difference between different degrees of to think of it as a geometry or a body), thus apples: what of the other three—or four?
overlap and separation, between rectilinearity marking a confrontation between an arc Paler and more distant, they are harder to
(the milk jug) and the curve, between the that is empty, slicing through air and shadow, see —placed at the fictive back of the com-
two-dimensional (the napkin) and the three- and an arc that is full, full of the flesh and position, it is as if they are unripe, in the
dimensional, between the blank white of skin of an apple, as well as between the cold painterly sense. Without much color—they
the paper and the volumetric illusion that is of blue and the warm of gold, and between are almost all white ground, so that it is
created upon it and that is condensed in the optical and tactile sensations. And finally, hard to describe that white as a highlight
apples'white highlights, between warm and those four apples stake out the threshold anymore—suffused in some sort of still-life
cool coloration, as well as between simple between stillness and movement, balance and version of atmospheric perspective, they
sphere and more complicated shape. Without imbalance. Look at the two foremost apples, seem not fully painted and therefore not quite
names attached to them, these four dimple- whose repeated contours appear to move ready to be seen yet, certainly not ready to

be touched and grasped (detail 3). The two two or three, once they are found, these behind it and camouflaged by the surround-
—or three—apples at the rightmost edge of apples of Cezanne's are seen to indicate one ing blue and gold folds of the tapestry, which
the tapestry-covered surface are found of the side and back limits of the still life, is much more vivid and present than the
soon enough, even though they are bled of finishing the passage from foreground washed-out apple that nestles within it. That
much of the color that makes them painterly to middle ground to background, as well as apple is the least ready to be seen and
fruit, and even though, for all their smallness marking the transition from sphere to warped touched, the most fragile in its watercolor
of number, they are hard to count. Because ovoid ellipsis, and the confrontation, once wash of palest blue and gold, the most
of the second arc in what at first appears to again, between blue and gold, though here doubtful as to its own separate existence, the
be the left-hand one of them, it is hard to that confrontation is faded, a mere echo of most hesitant about its difference from the
determine whether it is single or double and what happens in the foreground, and here paper space and textile surfaces from which
therefore whether the group that it makes is it is condensed in the two sides of one sphere, it is supposed to emerge. That is the apple,
a duo or a trio, a simple pair or the bare the hedged-in and the open, the lit and the somewhat drained of convexity by that which
minimum needed to form a cluster, replete shadowed sides, like a model of the world surrounds it, that describes the condition of
with the barest indication of overlap. as it turns on its axis, showing its sunlit and being behind—that is, the condition of being
Bracketed off from the larger composition of its darkened halves. at the utmost distance from Cezanne's "con-
which it is a part, this little group of indeter- The last apple is the hardest to find. centric" point of view, and therefore not yet
minately numbered apples functions as a Finishing the circuit around the white pot, it present to his "prehensile eye, " not yet part
study of the least means needed to manufac- is hidden just behind it, sandwiched in the of his curved-out world of "culminating
ture the distinction between one object and no-space between the little pot and the blue points, " nor yet separate from its own ground
another, to unfold the plural out of the sin- kettle, mimicking the curve of the pot's or available to the illusions either of visibility
gular, composition out of counting, the art of metal handle, whose empty segment seems to or oftactility, let alone to that of edibility.
complicated arrangement out of the sim- contain an excess of apple pigment. It is Most of the concerns that I have so far
plicity of pointing and showing. But whether mimicked in turn by the blue lump of cloth suggested are specific to still-life painting:
Detail 3

questions of volume and overlap and bal-
ance; of before and behind and between; of
singling out, clustering, and numbering one,
two, three, or more; encounters between
the optical and tactile aspects of the object
world; the charting of objective space by
the subjective eye. Yet there are nonetheless
landscapelike things about this still life.
Horizon and distance; foreground, middle
ground, and background; atmospheric per-
spective; ravines, crevices, and valleys;
mountains, boulders, and bridges; hills, hol-
lows, and waterfalls: these are words that
describe the space of landscape. They are
also words that describe this as well as other
still Ufes by Cézanne, with their hallucinatory
indeterminacy of scale and bodily address.
A horizon line is surely evoked by the
wainscoting course that slices through Still
Life with Blue Pot about two-thirds of the way
up from the bottom of the image (detail 4).
The coloration is more or less green-blue,
like sky, above that line, and more or less red-
brown, like earth, below it. Both above and Detail 4
below that line, the coloration is mixed with
greens and reddish tints, in Cezanne's habi-
tual tessera-shaped brush strokes and his planes of pictorial support and perspectival studio at Les Lauves (fig. 18). Horizon lines
equally habitual manner of unifying his com- distance, rather than the close-up horizon- are fundamental to the space of landscape
position by means of the nonlocal distribution tality of the object world and its ground. It is painting, constituting it as such, defining
of the colors of his palette across the space significant, as well, that that line is a bit its back limits as well as the meeting between
of the paper. Nonetheless, that line does irregular, especially toward the left, with its above and below, sky and land, and describ-
mark a general shift in coloration as well dip downward, and that it is interrupted, also ing the profile of the land that is so crucial to
as a shift toward the top in degree of trans- toward the left, by the hill of flowered tapes- it, that makes a landscape recognizable
parency, suggesting the lightness of air above try (detail 5), just as Mont Sa inte-Victoire as a landscape even when abstracted from its
the line where the land ends. It is significant, typically erupts from the left-hand side local landmarks and its illusion of three-
also, that that line belongs to the background of the horizon line of the flat Provençal plain dimensionality. (One might think ahead to
wall rather than to a table or ledge and thus of Cezanne's native Aix (fig. 17), or a hill Helen Frankenthaler's and Richard
to enframing architecture, and the vertical cascades down past a road on the way to the Diebenkorn's landscapelike abstractions.)

Detail 5
Figure 17 Figure 18
Paul Cézanne Paul Cézanne
Mo/it Sainte-Victoire, Chemin des Lauves: The
c.1901-6 Turn in the Road, c. 1904-6
Watercolor and graphite Watercolor and graphite
on pale buff wove paper, on cream wove paper,
31.9 x 47.6 cm 47.9 x 58.6 cm
9 3 7
(12 / x 18 /4 in.) (i8 /s x 23 in.)
The Henry and Rose Pearlman The Henry and Rose Pearlman
Foundation, Inc., 1.1988.62.44 Foundation, Inc., 1.1988.62.42

Figure 19
Nicolas Poussin
(French, 1594-1665)
Landscape with the
Body ofPhodon Carried
out of Athens, 1648
Oil on canvas, 114 x 175 cm
7 7
(44 /s x 68 /s in.)
Cardiff, National Museum of
Wales. Lent by the Earl
of Plymouth, NMW A (L) 480
Foreground, middle ground, and back- Poussin cut a winding path from front to back as a layer of newly fallen snow, upon which
ground: as schematic divisions of the space of his composition so that the viewer could the place-settings rise symmetrically,
seen through an illusory window or behind a follow the narrative course of the movement crowned with blond rolls, " so that "if I really
fictive proscenium arch, these sectors are of the burial, so the apples of this still life balance and shade my place-settings and
as important as the horizon line to the space move us carefully and windingly from front to rolls as they are in nature, then you can be
of landscape painting. And they are particu- middle to back, only this time the meander- sure that the crowns, the snow, and all
larly characteristic of the French classical ing movement they trace is the circuit of the the excitement will be there too."4 Thus he
landscape, from that of Nicolas Poussin and eye around a little pot and back through the not only spoke to the relationship between
Claude Lorrain down to late eighteenth- and folds of a piece of tapestry, rather than a the literary and the pictorial, the objective
early- to -mid-nine teen th -cen tury inheritors funeral's solemn traversal of space. Hollow- and the subjective, but also articulated
of the tradition of the paysage historique, ing out the mound of fruit that was the staple the relay between landscape and still life.
such as Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, Achille- of the still-life tradition, so that all that is Indeed, he suggested that he wanted still life
Etna Michallon, Jean-Victor Bertin, andJean - left of its single, mounded mass are its points to do the job of landscape, if not that of
Baptiste-Camille Corot3 This was the tradi- of dispersal, and inverting the massing of history painting as well. If the apocrypha
tion to which Cézanne felt himself to belong. solids that continued to be so central to still are true, and Cézanne really wanted to redo
To show how this worked, one would usually life into the point-by-point plotting of a Poussin "after nature, " then still life, more
paira Mont Sainte-Victoire with Poussin's course that is more familiar in landscape than any of the other genres he practiced,
most canonical heroic landscape, that show- painting, it is as if Cézanne had declared the was the one in which he truly attempted to
ing the burial ofPhodon (fig. 19). genre of still life to be the proper place for carry out that project.5
But it is a still life like the Getty water- the transformation of the classical narrative
color whose navigation of foreground, middle of the hero's journey through life into the
ground, and background stands up to com- itinerary of the viewing subject's encounter
parison with something like Poussin's famous with objective space.
landscape and does so much better than any In a famous remark, Cézanne said that
of Cezanne's actual landscapes. For just as he wanted to paint Balzac's "tablecloth white

studio, as if in double testimony to one of the most permanent features of
Cezanne's still lifes and its impermanence in life. For the apples of Still Life with Blue
Pot, at least, are everywhere throughout Cezanne's work, from simple early pieces
like Still Life with Apples (c. 1877-78; fig. 20)—in which seven apples, one shadow,
and nothing else make up the painting—to the late Still Life with Apples and Oranges
(c. 1895-1900; fig. 21)—in which an array of apples and oranges, not so easily dis-
tinguishable from one another but adding up to approximately twenty pieces of fruit
in all, is contained by and arranged around a familiar plate, compotier, and flowered,
generously curved pitcher. There those apples and oranges spread their twentyfold
abundance across a piece of white linen and a flowered tapestry, possibly two, one of
which might be the same one found in Still Life with Blue Pot. There that tapestry
tops off a drastically tilted surface that seems unequivocally a sofa—witness its
carved lower edge peeking out beneath the expansive white napkin—until one
comes up short against what looks like a makeshift table leg at the right edge of the
picture. There, because of the expansión of the napkin into a waterfall of a tablecloth
and the hazardous tilting of the supporting surface, whatever it is, the fruit gives the
appearance of a baroque spill, in spite of the fact of its precariously stable containment
Figure 20
Paul Cézanne
Still Life with Apples,
Oil on canvas,
19 x 26.7 cm
(jVz x ioVz in.)
Fitzwilliam Museum

Figure 21
Paul Cézanne
St/7/ Life with Apples and
Oranges, c. 1895-1900
Oil on canvas, 74 x 93 cm
1 5
(29 /8 x 36 /8 in.)
Paris, Musée d'Orsay
toward the center of the composition. And there apple is all but indistinguishable from
orange, though it is safe to say, because of coloration, that the oranges sit in the com-
potier and the apples in the plate, and a mix of the two is found loose around them
and the pitcher.
The fruits of the earlier Still Life with Apples turn themselves around from
dimpled top to bottom, exploring in their countable simplicity the relationship
between curved volume and flat picture surface, the ability to attach the names of
objects to their painted representations—how can we be sure they are apples?—and
the capacity to identify and distinguish the aspects of simple things with continuous
spherical surfaces—what is the difference between the front and back of an apple,
say, and where does one draw the dividing line between them? Still Life with Apples
and Oranges, in contrast, complicates those questions by the numerousness of its
fruits and the indeterminacy of their numbers and by the multiplicity and resulting
complexity of their surfaces, not to mention their precariousness and their pattern-
ing and the consequent difficulty of distinguishing object from ground or, for that
matter, of naming and identifying that ground. Still Life with Blue Pot belongs to the
period that followed on the heels of Still Life with Apples and Oranges, and its com-
plexity is similar to that of the latter. But Still Life with Blue Pot continues to puzzle
out some of the simpler questions of Still Life with Apples too.

Three general observations that derive from the spectrum running from
Apples to Apples and Oranges are important to the Getty still life. First, from one to
the other there is the movement between a little and a lot, the spare and the bounti-
ful, the simple and the complex, the foursquare and the baroque. Second, there is
among all three the preoccupation with defining the space of things, either delimit-
ing and confining them as much as possible in the rectangular frame of the picture,
carving their convexity out of flatness as simply as possible, or hinting at a world of
other surfaces and spaces besides and beyond those of either the tabletop or the stu-
dio, as well as the painting that represents and substitutes for both. And third, there
is the preoccupation with indeterminate counting, and the relation between the mass
or the group and the loose item. One sees this in the Getty Still Life with Blue Pot,
though it has no container full of fruit: indeed, the container of fruit is inverted, so
that it is fruit that seems to contain a bowl and frame its shape, rather than the other
way around. Yet still there is that opposition between grouped and dispersed items,
and a variation on the opposition between the single item, clearly delineated and
separated from its neighbors, and those items that blend into their surrounds, as in
the background apples that half sink into their tapestried ground. These are all still-
life preoccupations, inherited from a still-life tradition.
For of course, despite our landscape journey through it, Still Life with Blue
Pot is still a still life. Its space, if only elliptically biographical, is fully and clearly the
generic space of still life. And if it shades into landscape in some of the ways I have
suggested above, its genre is recognizably that of still-life painting. It clearly belongs
to a tradition going all the way back to the golden age of still life of the Dutch sev-
enteenth century.6 Cezanne's corner space, table edge, mound of tapestry, and white
waterfall of cloth, fruit, bowls, and pitchers look back to the tradition that includes
still lifes like the Getty's Still Life with Ewer, Vessels, and Pomegranate of the mid-
16405 by Willem Kalf (fig. 22), although the luxury objects—the silver and gold
ware, the wine and the elegant crystal, even the pomegranate—that qualify Kalf s
painting as a pronkstilleven couldn't be at a further remove from the rustic plainness
that Cézanne insisted on in life and in still life. (Nor, for that matter, could the finely
finished, glassy-surfaced optical effects of Kalf's way of painting, at least in this
instance, be at a further remove from Cezanne's manner of facture, always rough-
hewn, be it couillarde or crudely "faceted.") But it was the still lifes of the eighteenth-
century French painter Jean-Siméon Chardin, such as the Getty's little picture of a
mound of fruit (fig. 23), that lay at the root of so many of Cezanne's still lifes, from the
simplest of his arrangements to the most complex. The same could be said for most
French still-life and genre painters of the nineteenth century, from the strict interpreters
Eugène Boudin and Philippe Rousseau to the looser variations of Edouard Manet, Henri
Fantin-Latour, and of course Cézanne: together they made a "Chardin revival" that
gave their own work in the lower genres an ancien régime French pedigree.8 But for
Cézanne, whose invoking of Chardin was fed through the nineteenth-century filter of
painters such as Gustave Courbet, Manet, and Fantin-Latour, who themselves invoked
Chardin in their compositions, the Chardin model worked in a very particular way.

Figure 22 Chardin himself was heir to a still-life tradition that he modified and made
Willem Kalf his own: among other things, he took the aristocratic supper—with its huge, festive
(Dutch, 1619-1693) cones of sweets and fruit—and whittled it down to size, so that, as in Chardin;s still
Still Life with Ewer, Vessels, life in the Getty, we are left with a humble and diminutive pyramidal mass of peaches
and Pomegranate, mid-i64os
Oil on canvas, 103.5 x or plums (probably numbering five; one can count four and deduce a fifth in the
81.3 cm (40 /4 x 32 in.) back to hold up the pyramid), sitting next to a plain pewter flagon, three walnuts, one
Los Angeles, j. Paul of them shelled, and a couple of sprigs of grapes, one green and one purple, with a
Getty Museum 54.PA.1
stray murky green pearl of a grape in the center, all disposed on an uneven stone
Figure 23 shelf, plainest of plain, directly abutting the picture plane, with a dark, undisclosed
Jean-Siméon Chardin background whose subtly modulated colors sometimes hint at rough stone walls. But
(French, 1699-1779) for the little pyramid of the fruit and the reflective glossiness of the pewter cup, none
St/7/ Life with Peaches, of the elegance or luxury of the aristocratic supper remains: Chardin brought the
a Silver Goblet, Crapes, courtly French still life down-market and made it middle class—his own artisanal
and Walnuts, c. 1760 9
Oil on canvas, 37.8 x 46.7 cm middle class. And as he did so, he also found remarkably subtle ways to deploy plain
7 3
(i4 /a x i8 /s in.) things to point to material relations between the made and the natural, as in the
Los Angeles, j. Paul crafted pewter next to the artificially mounded peaches, and even to suggest social
Getty Museum 86.PA.544
relations between the group and the individual, as in the grape that strays from its
cluster, like a sly metaphor for the emergent value of the individual as against the
social mass. (This device was repeatedly used by the eighteenth-century master.)
These are all contrivances and qualities that must have appealed to Cézanne like no

other, though few of his compositions look as obviously Chardinian as those of the
diehard Chardin revivalists of his day.
There were other types of still life that Chardin took up that Cézanne did not.
Significantly, Cézanne never pursued the scene of cooking as Chardin did, despite his
allusions to the kitchen. But in addition to leaning on the modern examples of
Courbet and Manet, some of his earliest still lifes, like Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears,
and Blue Cup (fig. 5), declare their Chardin credentials quite overtly. His focus on
simple, spherical fruit, apples in particular, as the core of his still-life practice, has a
Chardinian cast to it. Moreover, his propensity to explore the relationship between
masses and containers of fruit and stray and strewn items represents an expansion
and complication of the same signature theme in Chardin's work. Although Cézanne
gave it a different spin from Chardin's prerevolutionary still-life meditations on the
individual versus the mass, that opposition was everywhere structured into his still
lifes as well. But for Cézanne, the hermit painter, there did not seem to be any pos-
sibility of social metaphor involved; rather it was a kind of perceptual test for the
solitary eye of the viewer: how to distinguish one thing from another, how to distin-
guish the figure from its ground, how to read the circuit and invisible back of an
object from what is given on the flat plane of the paper. Cézanne, in other words,
took for granted the value of the individual, which Chardin's age was just beginning
to construct, and transformed any and all social drama into the perceptual drama of
the lone subject.
One of the other aspects of the Chardinian still life that must have left its
mark on Cézanne was its down-market trend, which Cézanne seems to have carica-
tured with his inventory of plain Aixois and Marseillais ware. Nothing pronk about
his stilleven, nothing haut bourgeois, let alone aristocratic, about his tables of fruit
and ceramic: unlike his Impressionist contemporaries, who often celebrated the high
bourgeois art of the table, the meal, and its manners, Cézanne stuck as closely as he
could to the low artisanal end of middle-class life that Chardin before him had so
repeatedly represented. Indeed, as with Chardin so with Cézanne: his still lifes were
dedicated to identifying the world of painting with the world of simple craft.
Cézanne simply added a provincial dimension to that identification with his
Provençal pottery and textiles, equating them over and over again with the rough-
crafted surface of his paintings, hewn like clay out of a pattern of sculptural strokes.
But perhaps more than any other characteristic of Chardin's work in still life, the one
that held sway over Cézanne was the sense of a geometry given to the world of
things, not by the chef of the table, but by the painter disposing his simple objects
into "the cylinder, the sphere, the cone," as Cézanne famously said. Chardin's reduc-
tion of the artificed cone of food to a pared-down geometry surely lurks behind
Cezanne's own well-known interest in the geometric aspect of things.
Cezanne's interest in "the cylinder, the sphere, the cone" often underlies a
proto-Cubist reading of his work. But let us listen to what Cézanne actually said:
"Treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone, with everything put in
perspective so that each side of an object or a plane is directed toward a central

point." In another famous dictum, he remarked: "The eye becomes concentric by
looking and working. I mean to say that in an orange, an apple, a ball, a head, there's
a culminating point; and this point is always . . . closest to our eye; the edges of
objects flee toward a center placed on our horizon." What these remarks suggest is
not so much Cubism—if anything it should be "spherism," because Cezanne's em-
phasis is upon a round/not an angular, geometry—not so much a new and abstract
system of post-Euclidean geometry as an emphasis on rounded still-life objects—"an
orange, an apple, a ball, a head"—taken up-close and one by one. There is also an
inversion of the old perspectival space of the painting-as-window, so that "central"
and "culminating points," of which there are as many as there are objects, push out-
ward, toward us, rather than inward, toward a single vanishing point; the "horizon"
is here where we are, rather than at the back of or behind the painting, and the bod-
ily screen upon which that horizon lies—our eye—is curved ("concentric"), not flat,
corporeal, not abstract.
The still-life tradition had always courted the eye with the display of optical
effects to which its arrays of glassware and metalware set against the differentiated
texture and sheen of fruit and cloth lent themselves. And certainly Cezanne's re-
marks emphasize the eye (his and the viewer's) and its relation to the painted world.
Yet even more than Chardin's still-life paintings, which solicit the hand as well as the
eye in a variety of ways, Cezanne's still lifes suggest a "manual space." That is the
phrase of a Cubist, Georges Braque, and it is entirely applicable to Cezanne's still
lifes, though not in any Cubist way. In fact, Braque spoke about still life: "Then above
all I began to make still lifes, because in nature there is a tactile space, I would say
almost a manual space. Moreover, I have written: 'When a still life is no longer within
reach of the hand, it ceases to be a still life.' For me this corresponds to the desire
that I have always had to touch the thing and not only to see it." We will have occa-
sion later to look closely at the eye-hand coordination that Cézanne explored in his
very process of drawing and painting; for the moment, let us consider the ways in
which the peculiar, "concentric" spatiality of his still lifes and their objects appeals to
the hand as well as to the eye—indeed, more than that, suggests a bodily and not just
an optical realm.
Certainly simple early works like the Still Life with Apples of around 1877-78
(fig. 20) illustrate Braque's notion of still life's "manual space" as well as the idea of
a "prehensile eye" that tries to grasp what it sees. I have already touched on Roger
Fry's "manual" response to Cezanne's Still Life with Compotier (fig. 2), which pertains
to Cezanne's adaptation of a Chardinian device, the drawer handle that asks to be
pulled. (Moreover, that still life has the projecting knife that abounds in the still-life
tradition and that also solicits the hand.) Then there is the later Still Life with Apples
(fig. 8), which seems to want to invert itself and push forward toward the viewer's
eye and hand, as if swelling from a purely optical background into a tactile fore-
ground. And I have dwelt at length on the expanded spaces of some of Cezanne's still
lifes, such as Still Life with Basket; or, The Kitchen Table and Still Life with Plaster
Cast (figs. 7, 32), in which room to walk and sit surrounds and inflects the tabletop

Figure 24 surface and thus challenges the eye to attach itself not only to the hand but to
Gustave Courbet the body of which it is a part as well. Let us look now at some of Cezanne's still-
(French, 1819-1877) life cohorts of the nineteenth century, through whose work he filtered the lesson
Still Life with Apples, 1872 of Chardin.
Oil on canvas, 59.4 x 73.5 cm
3 15
(23 /8 x 28 /ie in.) Courbet was certainly one such. With his famous tankard of ale and rustic
The Hague, Museum Mesdag bowl of lush red apples, he took the Chardinian model and gave it his own particu-
lar provincial-peasant twist. With his apples scattered on the ground beneath a tree
Figure 25 (fig. 24), he took that model and expanded it well beyond its narrow purview, associ-
Edouard Manet ating still life with landscape, fruit to look at and eat with the ground on which one
(French, 1832-1883) walks—surely Cézanne thought of Courbet's example when he scattered his apples
Two Apples, 1880
Watercolor over graphite on about and enlarged the purview of still-life space to include the ground he walked
wove paper, 18.8 x 13.9 cm on. Then, of course, there was Manet, to whom Chardin was also extremely impor-
3 1
(7 /s x 5 /z in.) tant: Cézanne was very conscious of Manet, relied on the example of Manet's still-
Washington, D.C., National
Gallery of Art, Collection life compositions in his early, dark still lifes in oil, and trumped Manet in the first
of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon Impressionist exhibition with his caricatural Modern Olympia. And if he saw them,
Cézanne must surely have been moved by Manet's simple oils and watercolors of the
early i88os, not only of flowers but also of peaches, plums, apples, almonds, and the
like (fig. 25). Done with the utmost discretion and exquisitely simple elegance,
these watercolor items—sometimes just one, sometimes a pair, sometimes a trio —
sit on the bare page with just a hint of shadow to give them some illusionistic weight.

Figure 26
Gustave Caillebotte
(French, 1848-1894)
Still Life with Glasses,
Carafes, and Compotiers
of Fruit, 1879
Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
11 5
(i9 /i6 x 23 /8 in.)
Collection of Candy and
Aaron Spelling
It is hard not to think of them when one looks at some of Cezanne's watercolor notes
from the eighties and later, with the barest hint of watercolor to flesh out their min-
imally penciled forms on the surface of the paper. In such still-life notes, there is no
question of the larger bodily space that characterizes the more complex still lifes in
oil; rather, they inhabit the spatial degree zero of paper and show off the slightest
sleight of hand needed to raise objects off that paper with the delicate means of pen-
cil and watercolor. They suggest the other end of the Chardinian spectrum that was
so crucial to Cézanne: the simplicity of individual pieces of spherical fruit and the
means of crafting them on a flat surface, whether canvas, watercolor, or writing paper.
Gustave Caillebotte, the financier of the Impressionist group, might also have
been important to Cézanne, though the setting and social caste of the former's still
lifes (fig. 26) couldn't be at a further remove from Courbet's rustic world, and cer-
tainly from Cezanne's. Caillebotte was not the only "Impressionist" painter to take up
still life, nor was he alone in suggesting the bourgeois supper with all its luxury
appointments and its art of cooking—Claude Monet too occasionally produced that
kind of still life—but Caillebotte was the most elaborate in opening up his still lifes
to a wider context, be it the marketplace in which the cook went to buy the family's
food or the dining room in which the family sat down to eat its breakfast, lunch, or

dinner, replete with crystal ware, place settings, and chairs offered to the viewer.
Indeed, often his still lifes open onto the populated spaces of genre painting and are
indistinguishable from them. But the most important painter of expanded-space
bourgeois still lifes was Fantin-Latour, and where the example set by Chardin is not
felt in Caillebotte's luxury tabletops, it still underlies the work of Fantin-Latour, both
in his simple fruit pieces and in his more complex flower-piece table corners, whose
containers contrasted to loose fruit are reminiscent of the same device in Chardin's
work, and in his signature facture, which has something of the feel of Chardin's han-
dling, though much refined and muted. And Fantin-Latour was extremely important
for Cézanne, particularly for his flower pieces.
Figure 27
Henri Fantin-Latour
(French, 1836-1904}
St/7/ Life with Torso and
Flowers, 1874
Oil on canvas, 116 x 90 cm
5 7
(45 /s x 35 /ie in.)
Gôteborg, Sweden,
Gôteborgs Konstmuseum

But the still life by Fantin-Latour that I adduce here is a rare one, related to
Chardin only in the theme of the arts of painting and sculpture, another of Chardin's
still-life topics to which Cézanne was not much given. Fantin-Latour's 1874 Siz// Life
with Torso and Flowers (fig. 27), however, bears strongly on the one notable exception
to Cezanne's apparent lack of interest in that still-life topic, Still Life with Plaster Cast
(fig. 32), whose theme is after all just that—the competition between the arts of
painting and sculpture. The two are worth looking at in relation to each other, then,
as a way of considering not only Cezanne's filtering of the Chardin model through
the work of his contemporaries but also, and more importantly, his expansion of the
"manual space" of traditional still-life painting out to the larger bodily spaces of
other genres, and at the same time their collapsing together. We will return to the
centerpiece of our discussion, Still Life with Blue Pot, but for the moment, let us take
another, longer trip through the strange, tilted space of Still Life with Plaster Cast,
this time in relation to Fantin-Latour's example.
In Still Life with Torso and Flowers Fantin-Latour defined his own art as floral-
ist in relation to the other arts and their objects—including pictures (specifically
landscapes), sculptures, and Japonizing decorative objects such as fans—and posi-
tioned still life in relation to various schools and modes: the Greco-Roman classical
the oriental decorative, the Euro-realist. At the same time he referenced the most
evidently self-reflexive of Chardin's still-life subcategories, the still life of artist's
attributes, in order to reflect on the special self-reflexivity of still life: the way it is
always about painting itself. But above all Fantin-Latour indicated two signature fea-
tures of his own still-life practice that very evidently interested Cézanne and that he
reduplicated and revised in several of his own fruit-and-flower still lifes: first, the
deployment of objects to mark and also to expand the fore and aft of the still-life
composition—its front (which was usual in still-life painting) and its back (which
was not so usual, before Fantin-Latour); second, the persistent use of the genre of
still life to map out a series of complicatedly Chardinian relations, at once material
and spatial, between edges and corners, picture plane, table surface, wall, and some-
times hinted-at floor, not to mention the competing vectors of grouped and dispersed
objects, some planar in different degrees (books, trays, plates, knives), others rounded
out of the picture's planarity (fruit, pots, vases, flowers, and in this case a sculpted
and cast female body, or fragment thereof).
For his part Cézanne, troping on Fantin-Latour, defined still life in terms of a
more binary contrast between the classical and the realist, and in this case homes in
on fruit and vegetables, rather than flowers, as the representative objects of his own
still-life practice. In Still Life with Plaster Cast, onions and apples are the objects to
pair with a classical statuette, with which to state the relationship of still life to
another art, and with it to the representation of the body. Onions and apples are now
the objects with which to triangulate the spatiality of still life, which here consists of
the matrix of relationships between cornered and tip-tilted table surface, implied but
hidden chair surface (covered by the patterned and folded blue drapery at left), up-
swung floor surface—floor rather than wall—leaning canvas surfaces and the literal

surface of the painting itself. In this canvas, as in the Getty watercolor, Cezanne's
pared-down fruit and vegetable shapes are the objects used to plot the movement
from foreground to middle ground to background: from a Fantin-Latour-like table-
top in the foreground with its plate of three apples (or peaches) and its scattered
onions and apples, to the middle ground of blue drapery on the left, replete with two
pieces of fruit or vegetable, past the diagonals of picture canvases to the background
on the right, with its one apple or orange or peach. Three-two-one, one may count
those apples-onions-oranges, from front to middle to back, imaginatively harvesting
them as one gropes one's way haltingly through the close-to-hand spatial maze of the
still life, like Galatea interrupting her winged trajectory, thickening and fragmenting
sight into touch, full-body motion into the stop-and-start action of the arm and hand.
Thus Still Life with Plaster Cast charts the transformation, not so much of
two-dimensional surface into three-dimensional space as the reverse: perspectival
penetration into surface scansion, transparency into opacity, the eye into the hand,
the vanishing-point imago of the whole body into the body as an occluded array of
parts, and the all-at-once now, the transcendental instant of the aesthetic first impres-
sion into a kinesthetic series of sensations, sometimes combined and continuous,
sometimes separate and disjunct. These are none other than Cezanne's famous
"passages," his painted junctures between objects, writ large. Fallen from instanta-
neity, they require an itinerary, just as in the Getty Still Life with Blue Pot. With its
complicating of the Chardinian ledge—its opening up of the tabletop to the floor,
the wall, and the chair, not to mention other disjunct surfaces — Still Life with Plaster
Cast proposes an entanglement of different bodily spaces and an involution of the
geographical and the manual, much like that found in the landscape-evoking Still Life
with Blue Pot. Indeed, Still Life with Plaster Cast justifies the comparison between
still life and the Poussinian landscape tradition to which I have alluded, for its middle
ground and background are reminiscent of the self-portrait by Poussin in the Louvre
with an array of canvases stacked against the wall behind the painter, as if Still Life
with Plaster Cast indexes Cezanne's sense of still life as the Poussinian domain par
excellence. It also underlines the fact that Still Life with Plaster Cast is a picture of
the artist's studio (minus the artist's features) and that for Cézanne still life was always
a way of picturing the operations of the studio. It finally suggests the crossing of the
classical mode represented by Poussin with the low realist mode represented by
Chardin filtered through Fantin-Latour.
What Fantin-Latour's still lifes did for Cezanne's, in general, was to propose
that this lowly genre was the space in which to try to imagine the backs and the
fronts of things as if they were bodies, to render the transitions, not only from one
object to another, but from ground to object to surrounding space as well, and to
expand that space outward and inward from the tabletop to the larger architectural
space of the house, with its walls and floors and other furnishings, which the view-
er's body recognizes as its inhabitation. Thus the confrontation that Still Life with
Plaster Cast might be understood as staging between Fantin-Latour and Poussin is
the contest between the embodied space of the domicile and the domain of the studio

as the site of classical ideation and the classical conception of the body. That contest
is signified most succinctly in the conjunction of humble onions and high-art, apple-
cheeked, apple-bellied cupid (substituting for the cast of an adult female body in
Fantin-Latour's painting), which is elaborated in the complex spatiality in which they
are found together, and mediated by the apples, at once comestible and abstract
corps ("body" in the general, geometric sense of the word), that move from one to the
other and from front to back of the canvas. (The onions, by contrast, announce their
particularity as objects and refuse to be abstract bodies.) What that contest ultimately
comes down to is an encounter between and entwining of the "manual space" of still
life and the larger bodily realm suggested by the classical studio and the classical
body. Moreover, it represents a meeting between two opposed perspectival systems,
between the vanishing point of classical perspective, here thickened and warped, and
the cylinder, cone, and sphere, the "culminating points," and the concentricity of the
eye—the rounded-out, anamorphic world of the viewer's eye and body here in front
of the canvas suggested by Cézanne.
This and other still lifes, thickly mediated as they are through the still-life tra-
dition running from the Dutch through Chardin to Fantin-Latour, also propose some-
thing a little different from the high modernist definition of the self-reflexivity of
painting, as given by the famous American formalist Clement Greenberg with regard
to Cézanne: "Every brushstroke that followed a fictive plane into fictive depth harked
back ... to the physical fact of the medium; the shape and placing of that mark
recalled the shape and position of the flat rectangle that was the original canvas."19
This is the mode of self-reflexivity that is the hallmark of Greenbergian modernism,
but it is a little too abstract and disembodied for what Cézanne actually gives us,
especially in highly self-reflexive works like Still Life with Plaster Cast The canvas,
as spelled out in that painting, is surely to be understood as a physical object with a
front face and a back side, physically tilted on the easel or against the wall (rather
than a mathematical plane occupying mental space, seen in its ideal totality in the
mind's eye), something that one can imagine laying one's hands on, holding and
flipping, something that can even be warped and bent (or tossed on the ground or
thrown out the window to land in a tree, as Cézanne was known to do in a temper) —
not an abstract rectilinearity, in other words, but something that frames, yields, and
belongs to the world of rounded corporeality, like that of the cupid and the apples in
the "manual" foreground of the still life, and to which we as bodies also belong.
Though less overtly self-reflexive, Still Life with Blue Pot spells out some of
the same things in its pseudolandscape way. I finish this section by comparing the
watercolor with Cezanne's Young Italian Woman at a Table (fig. 28), done in oil in the
nineties, for the latter shows us a body, rounded out of its pictorial space, seated at
a table with the same tapestry found in Still Life with Blue Pot grasping that table
with one hand and leaning heavily upon it with the other elbow. The tabletop, in
other words, is something one sits at, holds with one's hand(s), and leans upon with
the weight of one's body; it is not merely a surface of optical display. It is, moreover,
a table whose rectilinearity is confounded by the tapestry, with its patterning,

Figure 28
Paul Cézanne
Young Italian Woman
ata Table, 1895-1900
Oil on canvas, 91.8 x 73.3 cm
(36 Va x 28% in)
Los Angeles, J. Paul
Getty Museum 99.PA.40
mounding, and folding. Looking back to Still Life with Blue Pot now—minus any
human figure or invitation to sit, grasp, and lean—we find that the tapestry here has
a function similar to that in Young Italian Woman at a Table. It rounds out the table
into something else, not just something that one might handle as well as look at, but
something that might be a seat as much as a table, that one might sink into and dis-
pose one's arms and legs around, were it not for the still life sitting upon that good

old sign of the still-life tradition, the white linen. The watercolor's rounded objects,
then, sit in for us and our bodiliness. But at the same time the patterned tapestry with
its hump reminds us of landscape too, set at an optical distance, while the horizon
on the wall in the back and the tenting of blue-green marks above the still-life
arrangement and above the earthen part of the background wall, the most planar
aspect of the image, reinforce the landscape aura of the still life. Thus it represents
the meeting between two different spatial conceptions of the picture, each belonging
to a different genre: the optical planes and distance of landscape, and the concentric
"manual space" of still life. They meet at the tabletop, which might also be a sofa, and
the hinted-at floor at the bottom right.
wE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW some of Cezanne's sketches in watercolor
and pencil suggest intersections between different genres: the pages with
images of Cezanne's son, Paul, and his wife, Hortense, not only introduce rare notes
of the intimacy of a private life into the working processes of the studio; they also
suggest meetings between the genres of the portrait, the nude (the classical body that
is the basis of all the higher genres, from mythological to history painting), and the
still life. Sketching allows for such note taking to bring diverse, unrelated subject
matter together onto the same surface and into the same image space. But it also sug-
gests that for Cézanne the sketch page, and indeed the combined media of pencil and
watercolor, was a realm in which to think about different genres, their spaces, and
their meanings together.
Of all the painters of his generation, Cézanne was perhaps most preoccupied
with the genre divisions as they had existed since the classical hierarchy of the
seventeenth-century academic system. He painted the nude, with related forays into
religious and mythological painting; he undertook genre painting, in the form of his
repeated Cardplayers; he excelled at the portrait and the self-portrait; and he devoted
himself to landscape and still life. (These would also be the quite traditional genre
divisions of Cezanne's Cubist descendants, Picasso and Braque.) Unlike the
Impressionist group with which he was associated, Cézanne took on these genre divi-
sions in a conventional way and maintained them fairly strictly. He did not—as his
cohorts Monet, Renoir, and Degas did—depart from them to invent new subjects, in
which the traces of old subject-matter categories can only dimly be felt in their muta-
tion into "modern life" motifs (like the city, the café, the railroad, and suburban
leisure, motifs that Cézanne almost never took up and never took up straight when
he did). Ultimately the old system of genres is dispensed with in the paintings of
modern life by the group with which Cézanne had exhibited, who in their calls for a
"new painting" constantly opposed the representation of the world's scenes to the
value system and studio practices of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.20 In contrast, the old
genre system structured Cezanne's output quite overtly, providing him with the basic

framework for again and again learning painting, and what painting can do, from the
ground up. The leveled lineaments of the genre hierarchy are felt over and over again
in his work, as if pointing to the system as such, except that, rather than a vertical
ladder of values, Cézanne configured it as a horizontal logic of distinctions, opening
onto a lateral dialogue among the genres, in which the function and meaning of each
genre begins to resonate in the other. Paintings of nudes begin to feel like grand still
lifes, for instance, while still lifes feel like bodies and geographies.
Cezanne's watercolor still lifes, whether in the mode of the sketch or that of the
full-fledged picture, clearly inhabit the spatial zone of their genre—ledge, counter,
tabletop, corner. Because of their more informal character, fewer of them implicate
larger spaces in the ways that some of the oils do, with the exceptions noted above,
and the Getty Still Life with Blue Pot, a picture in its own right rather than an un-
finished study of a still-life motif, is notable among those exceptions. So let us conclude
this meditation on Cezanne's generic spaces by looking at four other exceptional
watercolors from the late period, three of them still lifes in the exhibition, the fourth a
landscape study that approaches the spatial register of still life. All help to reinforce
the Getty watercolor's departures from the normal confined space of still life, its
address to the human body, and its hinted opening of the indoor world of the studio
to a world beyond.
One of the still-life subjects that Cézanne took up repeatedly was the human
skull—in groups of one, two, or three. (There are three currently displayed in the
studio at Les Lauves.) With its clear Vanitas association, this still-life theme defies
Roger Fry's rule that the subject matter of still life is insignificant; the pull of its mor-
bidity cannot have escaped Cézanne, the aging and curmudgeonly loner. Yet at the
same time Cézanne disposed his skulls like so many apples, and indeed Three Skulls
(pi. 9), from the same years as the Getty watercolor, has a composition very close to
that of Still Life with Blue Foi, replete with the floral tapestry, the central pile of
rounded things, and the background line of wall. (There is an oil version of the same
subject that even has the swatch of gold border at the bottom that we find in Still Life
with Blue Pot) It is as if the subject of the skull(s) was one more spheroid body to
arrange and rearrange, to pull forward out of the flatness of the paper with pencil
and watercolor, to question the relation between figure and ground, line and color—
monochrome, hollowed skull and colorful floral patterning—to single out and group
en masse. Massed together on the tapestry the way the skulls are, there is less rather
than more uncanniness about them than when alone or paired and set against an
austere wall-and-table ground, as some of them are.
At the same time the overt bodiliness of the skull and its hollow-eyed stare
out at the viewer—like an object looking blindly back—declares what haunts the
other still lifes: that the objective world of still life is itself, more than purely optical
or even manual, a corporeal world, and that it looks and hinges upon the equally cor-
poreal space of the viewer. And it suggests that Cezanne's world of cylinders, spheres,
and cones is precisely, and literally, anthropomorphic/This is nature morte indeed,
but it demands recognition of the two-way relation between the inanimate objects of

Plate 9
Paul Cézanne ne of the still-life subjects that Cézanne eyed stare out at the viewer, declares what haunts
Three Skulls, 1902-6 O
took up repeatedly was the human the other still lifes: that the objective world of
Watercolor, with graphite skull—in groups of one, two, or three. With its still life is a corporeal world, in which Cezanne's
and touches of gouache,
on ivory wove paper, clear Vanitas association, this still-life theme world of cylinders, spheres, and cones is quite
48 x 62.8 cm (18% x 24% in.) defies Roger Fry's assertion that it was the very literally anthropomorphic. This is nature morte
The Art Institute of Chicago, insignificance of still life's subject matter that indeed, but it demands recognition of the two-
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned made its forms so significant. It is true that way relation between the inanimate objects
Coburn Memorial Collection, Cézanne disposed his skulls like so many apples, of the genre and the animate world of the human
and indeed the fully rendered pictorial compo- subject looking at them, of the set of exchanges,
sition of Three Skulls is very close to that of substitutions, and affinities that take place in the
the Getty Still Life with Blue Pot, which is from studio between the human body and the world
the same period. At the same time, however, of things.
the overt bodiliness of the skull, with its hollow-

the genre and the animate world of the human subject looking at them of the bodi-
liness of both sides of the subject-object divide, and of the corporeality this side of
the pictorial surface. This clearly was what Cezanne's studio was all about: a place
for studying the bodily relations—exchanges, substitutions, and affinities—between
the human subject and the world of inanimate objects. For us, Cezanne's studio, and
the objects placed within it, can also be a site to understand the curious changing of
places, across his work, between animacy and inanimacy: in which the human body
and face are stilled and crystalline like geological formations, while objects begin to
vibrate with anthropomorphic life.
One in particular of Cezanne's still lifes in watercolor, however, presses out-
side the studio: in Hortensia of around 1895-1900 (pi. 10), the potted hydrangea (or
more likely geranium) seems to seek escape from the confines of the studio in order
to bridge the spaces between indoors and outdoors, still life and landscape. Painted
at least a decade later than the sketchbook page discussed above (fig. 13), this
Hortensia plays no word games and shares no intimate space with the face of
Cezanne's wife; indeed it seems to brook neither intimacy nor enclosure, as it has
even escaped the pot to which it belongs (a second, unfinished stem is found next
to it, pentimento-like, within the pot), and leans with human fervor toward the win-
dow, whose diagonal line of curtain opposes the sweep of its yearning slant. Like a
romantic woman at the window (its floral character suggests its femininity, even
without any association with one particular woman in Cezanne's life), it seems bent
on release from its confinement to the interior, its stillness, its very condition of
plantedness. And with its straining stem it is more alive than any portrait of Hortense
(or anyone else) that Cézanne ever painted, as powerful as those portraits are.
In between studio and open air, indoors and outdoors, are the potted plants
that inhabit the garden—or the greenhouse—but make it into a close-up, walled-off
space of confinement, an extension of the interior of house and studio, rather than
something exterior to them. Such is the case of the potted geranium series (pi. 11) of
a decade earlier than the so-called Hortensia, as well as of the series of trellis roses of
the 18905. These begin to provide a scrim of foliage that mediates between horizontal
and vertical surface, figure and ground, singular object and tapestry-like patterning,
worked and unworked areas of paper—as if the earth on which the pot rests and the
wall that separates the garden from the house or the world beyond the painter's prop-
erty together have mutated into the flat surface of the paper on which the painter
draws and paints. Such intermediate subjects had been taken up earlier by the gar-
dening painters Monet, Renoir (fig. 29), and Caillebotte as well, as "modern life" vari-
ations on the old subject of the flower piece, in which the flowers were now rooted
in the nineteenth-century middle-class garden. But in Cezanne's case, the up-to-date
context is missing; instead the subject asserts its in-betweenness, between indoor
and outdoor study, still life subject and foliate sketch.
Once fully outside, Cézanne, as we know, painted his landscapes and made
landscape studies, few of which have anything interior about them, though anthro-
pomorphism is everywhere in the air. Some of his landscape studies, however, are

Plate 10
Paul Cézanne
Hortensia, c, 1895-1900
Watercolor and
graphite on paper,
49 x 31 cm
1 3
(i9 /4 x i2 /ie in.)
New York, private collection
On occasion Cezanne's still lifes in water-

color press outside the studio. Here the
potted hydrangea (or perhaps it is a geranium)
seems to seek escape from the confines of
the studio in order to bridge the spaces between
indoors and outdoors, still life and landscape.
Hortensia (French for "hydrangea") seems to
brook neither intimacy nor enclosure, as it has
even escaped the pot to which it belongs (a
second, unfinished stem is found next to it,
pentimento-like, within the pot) and leans with
human fervor toward the window, whose
diagonal line of curtain opposes the sweep of
its yearning slant. Like a romantic woman at the
window (its floral character suggests its femi-
ninity), it seems bent on release from its confine-
ment to the interior, as well as from its stillness
and from its very condition of plantedness.
With its straining stem, it is more alive than any
portrait that Cézanne ever painted.

Plate 11
Paul Cézanne n between studio and open air are the potted Such intermediate subjects had been taken up
Geraniums, 1888-90 I plants that inhabit the garden — or the earlier by the gardening painters Claude Monet,
Watercolor and graphite greenhouse—but make it into a walled-off Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Gustave Caillebotte as
on buff paper, 31 x 27 cm
5 extension of the interior of house and studio. well, as "modern life" variations on the old sub-
(izV4 x io /s in.)
Washington, D.C., National Such is the case with Ceraniums. It presents ject of the flower piece, ¡n which the flowers were
Gallery of Art, Collection a scrim of foliage that mediates between figure now rooted in the nineteenth-century middle-
of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and ground, singular object and tapestry-like class garden. But ¡n Cezanne's case, the up-to-
patterning, worked and unworked areas of date context is missing; instead the subject
paper—as if the wall that separates the garden asserts its in-betweenness, between indoor and
from the house or the world beyond the painter's outdoor study, still-life subject and foliate sketch.
property has mutated into the flat surface of
the paper on which the painter draws and paints.

Figure 29 close enough to still lifes in their spatiality to straddle the boundary between one
Pierre-Auguste Renoir genre and the other, or at least to pose the question of what distinguishes one kind
(French, 1841-1919) of study from the other, the indoors from the outdoors. Foliage of around 1895-1900
Calla Lily and Greenhouse (fig. 30), for instance, has none of the distance of a landscape, and its close-up screen
Plants, 1864
Oil on canvas, 130 x 196 cm of leaves—with its almost abstract web of pencil and brown, green, and blue water-
3 3
(51 /16 x 77 /ie in.) color marks—seems to bring the optical world of the outdoors all to the foreground,
Winterthur, Switzerland, to cancel out any residual atmospheric perspective and carry it into the "manual
Oskar Reinhart Collection
"Am Rômerholz" 1927.4 space" more usually inhabited by still life. (This is true, too, of Cezanne's remarkabl
watercolor studies of rock clefts.) Its patterned leanness is reminiscent of the tapes-
Figure 30 tries of Cezanne's still lifes (and sometimes of their background walls). Yet its flat
Paul Cézanne verticality, its screenlike quality, and the bareness of the page to the left, which sets
Foliage, c. 1895-1900 the patterned marks afloat, counter the materiality, the horizontal plane (whether
Watercolor and tabletop, ledge, or other surface), and the separated objecthood that characterize the
graphite on paper genre of still life. It hinges on still life, but only, ultimately, to define what still life
44.8 x 56.8 cm
(17% x 223/s in.) usually is not, for it offers up a scrim in which the pure sensations of distantiated
New York, The Museum sight and close-at-hand touch converge and try to turn into each other, and in which
of Modern Art, mark making begins to lose sight of, and touch with, objects in the world. That mark
Lillie P. Bliss Bequest
making turns back on itself and offers itself up as a study of its own processes of eye-
hand coordination: its world of eye and hand is no longer that of objects soliciting
gaze and touch, but rather that of the draftsman drawing, the painter painting, and
the surface on which he does so. It is ultimately more abstract, flat, and disembodied

than anything Cézanne ever did inside the studio, with its simple, familiar, insistent
objects, their equally insistent corporeality, and their insistence upon the concentric-
ity of the eye. As a landscape study it comes close to the up-close zone of the still life
so masterfully landscaped in Still Life with Blue Pot, in particular to the web of over-
laid foliate marks that makes up the tapestry that surrounds its central array of
objects. But as a study, too, it could not be further from the pictorial completion of
Still Life with Blue Pot, and as such it opens onto the next studio question to concern
us: that of sketch and finished picture.
1. On Cezanne's "prehensile eye," see Lawrence 5. The notion is an apocryphal one; it is nowhere
Cowing, "The Logic of Organized Sensations," to be found in Cezanne's letters. Both Emile
in Cézanne: The Late Work (New York: Museum of Bernard and Joachim Gasquet claimed that Cezanne,
Modern Art, 1977), 56. explaining what he meant when he advised his
generation to "become classic again, but through
2. This is Norman Bryson's contention regarding nature" ("II nous faut redevenir des classiques par
the function of still life as an abject, "feminine" la nature"), said the following: "Imagine Poussin
genre: not only that it brings the human subject low redone entirely after nature, that's the classic that I
but also that it articulates, highlights, and plays upon intend" ("Imaginez Poussin refait entièrement sur
the division between the subject and its objects. nature, voilà le classique que j'entends"). See Emile
See Bryson's Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays Bernard, "Souvenirs sur Paul Cézanne et lettres
on Still-Life Painting (Cambridge: Harvard University inédites," pts. i and 2, Mercure de France, October i,
Press, 1990), in particular "Still Life and 'Feminine' 1907, 385-404, October 15, 1907, 606-27, cited
Space," 136-78. On still life, see also Jeannene in P. M. Doran, Conversations avec Cézanne (Paris:
Pryzlbyski, "Le Parti pris des choses: French Still Life Editions Macula, 1978), 80. Gasquet's remark is
and Modern Painting, 1848-1876" (Ph.D. diss., found in his Cézanne (Paris, 1921), cited in Doran,
University of California, Berkeley, 1995); Eliza B. Conversations avec Cézanne, 150. Francis Jourdain,
Rathbone and George T. Shackelford, Impressionist in Cézanne (Paris: Braun, 1950), declared that
Still Life (Washington, D.C.: Phillips Collection; Cézanne "always tried to revivify Poussin in front of
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002); and the last nature" ("il avait toujours essayé de revivifier le
chapter of my Manet Manette (New Haven and Poussin devant la nature"), cited in Doran,
London: Yale University Press, 2002), esp. 269-81. Conversations avec Cézanne, 84. And Maurice Denis
See also Charles Sterling, Still Life Painting from declared him the "Poussin of Impressionism" ("C'est
Antiquity to the Present Time, trans. James Emmons le Poussin de l'impressionnisme"), in "Cézanne," in
(New York: Universe Books, 1959). Théories, 1890-1910: Du symbolisme et de Gauguin
vers un nouvel ordre classique (Paris: L. Rouart
3. On the subject of the "paysage historique," see and J. Watelin, 1920), 260. See also Richard Shiff,
Peter Galassi, Corot in Italy: Open-Air Painting "The Poussin Legend," in Cézanne and the End
and the Classical-Landscape Tradition (New Haven of Impressionism: A Study of the Theory, Technique,
and London: Yale University Press, 1991). and Critical Evaluation of Modern Art (Chicago and
London: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 175-84;
4. Quote from Balzac's Peau de chagrin, cited, Richard Kendall, Cézanne and Poussin: A Symposium
among other places, in Maurice Merleau-Ponty, (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press,
"Cezanne's Doubt," in Sense and Non-sense, trans. 1993), in particular the essays by Richard Verdi
Hubert L. Dreyfus and Patricia Allen Dreyfus ("The Reputation of Poussin's Landscape Paintings
(Evanston, 111.: Northwestern University Press, in France from Félibien to Cézanne," 13-29), Richard
1964), 16. Shiff ("Cézanne and Poussin: How the Modern
Claims the Classic," 51-68), Michel Hoog ("The

Elegant Mountain in Poussin and Cézanne/' 109-12), Michael Baxandall, "Pictures and Ideas: Chardin's
and John House ("Cezanne and Poussin: Myth A Lady Taking Tea," in Patterns of Intention: On the
an Historical Explanation of Pictures (New Haven
and History," 129-49); d Richard Verdi, Cézanne
and Poussin: The Classical Vision of Landscape and London: Yale University Press, 1985), 74-104;
(Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland; London: and Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer:
Lund Humphries, 1990). On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990), 62-66.
6. As did other French still-life painters of the
nineteenth century, such as Manet and Fantin-Latour, 11. On Cézanne and Cubism, see William Rubin,
Cézanne also looked back to the Spanish bodegone, "Cézannisme and the Beginnings of Cubism/' in
particularly in the series of still lifes that include Cézanne: The Late Work, 151-202. One of the
melons. obvious sources in Cezanne's own remarks for the
Cubist view of his work is his famous saying about
7. Cézanne, however, did paint still lifes with "the cylinder, the sphere, the cone." While Denis
pomegranates, though in the Provençal context the was emphatic about the rounded volumetricness
pomegranate no longer had the connotations of thematized in this quote, Bernard got it wrong at
exoticism and luxury, and Cézanne did not empha- least once, and spoke of "le cône, le cube, le
size the glisten of the fruit's seeded interior in the cylindre, la sphère" (Emile Bernard, Souvenirs sur
way that Kalf and others had. Paul Cézanne, et lettres [Paris: R. G. Michel, 1925]
116; elsewhere [37], he got the quote right).
8. On Cézanne and Chardin, see Theodore Reff,
"Cézanne and Chardin," in Cézanne aujourd'hui, 12. Letters to Emile Bernard, April 15 and July 25,
éd. Françoise Cachin, Henri Loyrette, and Stéphane 1904, given in Emile Bernard, "Paul Cézanne,"
Guégan (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, L'Occident 6 (July 1904): 17-30; and cited in
1997), 11-28. Reff quotes Rilke on Cézanne— Françoise Cachin and Joseph J. Rishel, Cézanne
"Chardin is still the intermediary" ("C'est encore là (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1996),
Chardin l'intermédiaiare," 11; Rilke, Lettres sur 18-19. On the relation between Cezanne's practice
Cézanne, 37-38); and Gasquet, who apparently took and his curious theoretical pronouncements,
the remark from Bernard, claiming to cite Cézanne: see Yve-Alain Bois, "Cézanne: Words and Deeds,"
"Objects are penetrated by and among each other.... October 84 (spring 1998): 31-43.
They do not cease to live, you understand
Insensibly they spread about themselves intimate 13. "Alors je commençai à faire surtout des natures
reflections, as we do with our glances and our mortes, parce que dans la nature il y a une espace
words It was Chardin, the first to glimpse this, tactile, je dirais presque manuel. Je l'ai écrit du reste:
who nuanced the atmosphere of things" ("Les objets 'Quand une nature morte n'est plus à la portée de
se pénètrent entre eux Ils ne cessent pas de la main, elle cesse d'être une nature morte.' Cela
vivre, comprenez vous Ils se répandent insensi- répondait pour moi du désir que j'ai toujours eu du
blement autour d'eux d'intimes reflets, comme nous toucher la chose et non seulement de la voir." See
par nos regards et par nos paroles C'est Chardin, Dora Vallier, "Braque, la peinture et nous: Propos
le premier qui a entrevu ça, a nuancé l'atmosphère de l'artiste," Cahiers d'art 29 (October 1954): 16; also
des choses" [28; from Gasquet, Chardin, 122]). cited in Vallier, L'Intérieur de l'art (Paris: Editions
And Maurice Denis remarked, "We sense that this du Seuil, 1982), 32; and Christine Poggi, "Braque's
art is closer to Chardin than to Manet and Gauguin" Early Papiers Collés: The Certainties of Faux Bois,"
("Nous sentons que cet art-là est plus près de Chardin in Picasso and Braque: A Symposium (New York:
que de Manet et de Gauguin" [Denis, Théories, 247]). Museum of Modem Art, 1992), 1381131, 138^4,
On thé Chardin revival, see John McCoubrey, "The 146, 148.
Revival of Chardin in French Still-Life Painting,
1850-1870," Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964): 39-53; 14. Cezanne's "prehensile eye" evokes the category
and Gabriel P. Weisberg (with William S. Talbot), of the tactile or the haptic, as defined by Alois
Chardin and the Still-Life Tradition in France Riegl and Heinrich Wôlfflin. There are two kinds of
(Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1979). "haptic" space that two-dimensional images can
suggest. The first has to do with the contents of per-
9. See Pierre Rosenberg, Chardin (London: Royal spectival space and rests on the illusion of volumes
Academy of Arts; New York: Metropolitan Museum that the hand can grasp ("cubic," or sculptural,
of Art, 2000). space), as opposed to a purely optical surface, or
retinal screen. (That is its meaning in the work of
10. For two different accounts of Chardin as repre- Riegl, and it is synonymous with the "linear" mode
sentative of eighteenth-century epistemology, see in Wolfflin's writing.) The second is in a sense the

opposite of the first, having to with a fascination 18. On Fantin-Latour (and Manet), see Pryzlbyski,
with the materiality of a textured surface and a "Le Parti pris des choses," 161-227. See also Douglas
nonvolumetric solicitation to touch, which does not Druick and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour (Ottawa:
yield visual comprehension, and which in fact National Gallery of Canada/National Museums
verges on a kind of blindness: close-up rather than of Canada, 1983), esp. 132-34, no. 37, on the Toledo
distantiated, somatic rather than epistemological, Hydrangeas, Ranunculus, and Fruit of 1866, which
this is touch at odds with sight rather than sight was one of a pair of still lifes commissioned by an
extending and sublimating touch. Cezanne's paint- English patron, and shown at the Royal Academy
ing and drawing lie closer to the former sense of but not at the Salon (it is, however, like many others
tactile, "haptic," or "manual" space, while also that Fantin-Latour painted and showed during these
complicating it. See Alois Riegl, "Excerpts from The years); and 263-65, no. 97bis, on Still Life with
Dutch Group Portrait" trans. Benjamin Binstock, Torso and Flowers of 1874, which was shown at the
October 74 (fall 1995): 3-35; and Heinrich Wôlfflin, Salon of that year.
Principles of Art History: The Problem of the
Development of Style in Later Art (1915), trans. M. D. 19. Clement Greenberg, "Cézanne and the Unity
Hottinger (New York: Dover Publications, 1950). of Modern Art" (1951), in Clement Greenberg: The
Collected Essays and Criticism, ed. John O'Brian
15. On these still lifes, see Robert Gordon and (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press,
Andrew Forge, The Last Flowers of Manet, trans. 1993), vol. 3, 90. See also Greenberg, "Cézanne:
Richard Howard (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Gateway to Contemporary Painting" (1952), ibid.,
Abradale Press, 1986); and George Mauner, Manet: 113-18.
The Still-Life Paintings (New York: Harry N. Abrams
in association with American Federation of Arts, 20. This is the case, for example, in Edmond
2000). Duranty's contrast between the closed themes of the
academic studio and the opened-up world of motifs
16. For his part, Fantin-Latour could not stand undertaken en plein air, in "La Nouvelle Peinture"
Cezanne's work; see Ambroise Vollard, En écoutant of 1876, the pamphlet that accompanied the second
Cézanne, Degas, Renoir (Paris: Bernard Grasset, Impressionist exhibition. See Charles S. Moffett,
1938), 50- éd., The New Painting: Impressionism, 1874-1886
(San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San
17. On this painting, see Bois, "Cézanne: Words and Francisco, 1986), 37-49.
Deeds"; he treats many of the issues of phenomeno-
logical and corporeal space that I address here. 21. See Cachin and Rishel, Cézanne, 492, no. 213.

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 89

Picture and Sketch
turn now to the process of painting, things, which is to say, to see as if with the
drawing, and studying that takes hand, to imagine the movement back
place in the studio. Thus we move outside in, and forth between eye and hand, process and
from what the picture represents to how it finished product. In order to see this, how-
represents It, inverting the direction of the ever, we must work contrary-wise, from
artist's progress from mark to composition to the macro level of the completed watercolor
picture. Unlike the artist, the viewer sees and its subject, viewed from the outside,
it the other way around, moving from the to the micro level of its inner workings. In
entire picture and its arrangement of subject other words, we must proceed in an order of
matter to the way it is put together, and then looking that is complementary to Cezanne's
back out again. I hope to show that Cezanne's process.
work in watercolor and pencil, even more To start, we must consider the picture's
than his work in oil, involves an invitation to status as a picture. Still Life with Blue Pot is
see the artist's process at work; more than what the French call a tableau, a full-fledged,
that, it seeks to turn the viewer's expectations finished picture in its own right, as distinct
about seeing the picture as a picture inside from a sketch (croquis) or a study (étude),
out, so that we too begin to look with the which was more usually the function and
artist back and forth between the motif that status of the combined media of pencil
he rendered and the means of rendering it. and watercolor. At the same time, it has no
Another way of saying this would be to sug- separate preparatory sketch (ébauche
gest that rather than agreeing in advance to and/or esquisse) in which Cézanne might
see as the viewer of the completed painting have worked out the final composition
does, Cézanne asks his viewers to see as beforehand: its first conception, its changes
the painter does in the process of painting of mind, and its final state coexist in one

Detail 6 >
layered surface, whose many strata are avail- wall and bit of floor, and stick with it. And covered all over with watercolor, except in
able to the eye. Rather than a sketch for the point of view that he chose is another the area of the linen, which is another index
Still Life with Blue Pot Still Life with Milk indication of the picture's tableau status; its of its completion as a picture). Thus perhaps
Pot, Melon, and Sugar Bowl (fig. 3), which is enlarged purview, which adds to the spatial what we ought to say is that Still Life with
so like it, was probably executed during complexity of the composition, is never Blue Pot is a finished tableau built up out of
the same still-life campaign, either directly found in Cezanne's more informal sketches, layers of sketch.
before or after the Getty watercolor and thus though it is sometimes hinted at.
is a companion piece and/or alternative to Finally, the very layeredness of the pic-
the latter, just as much a tableau as it is. ture suggests its standing as a complete
In its status as a picture, then, in its process, thought and a fully realized image; it is also
and even in its genre—watercolors were one of Cezanne's prime divergences from
also more commonly devoted to the study of normal watercolor technique and tradition.
landscape, as in the English tradition that His characteristic procedure of working touch
was so important for the Impressionist group by touch, allowing each touch to dry rather
with which Cézanne was associated — Still than pool and mix, and then laying on more
Life with Blue Pot is an unusual watercolor. touches in other colors, allowing them to dry,
How can we tell that it is a "finished" and so on, until he achieved the effect of
picture, a tableau? Those are two questions, translucent patches, is a particularly labor-
not one, and the second is easier to answer ious way of working with watercolor; indeed
than the first. The size of the watercolor it goes against the grain of watercolor's
alone suggests its pictorial status: this is no quickness, evoking the more painstaking
mere note taking. The complexly worked-out campaigns of oil painting, not to mention
composition is another key factor: Cézanne Cezanne's particular way of working—touch
had to carefully arrange his tapestry, linen, 3
by touch, color by color—in oil. That slow,
milk pitcher, and blue and white pots before- against-the-grain method of working was
hand—every still life is a composition twice never more evident in a watercolor than in
over, first on the tabletop (or whatever sur- this one, particularly in the area of the tapes-
face Cézanne chose) and then in the picture try, where reds, greens, yellows, and blues
of it—he had to heap the tapestry, and place hover kaleidoscopically over and under one
and balance everything else so that it would another rather than blending (detail 6). We
stay put, and then leave it there until he was will come back to the question of Cezanne's
done. He had to do the same thing for Still method later on; for the moment, suffice
Life with Milk Pot, Melon, and Sugar Bowl, it to say that it is the complexity of the
which means that since he was using many of visible layers that leads us to designate this
the same objects, he couldn't have worked on tableau and a "finished"picture as well, in
it simultaneously with the Getty watercolor, spite of the visible pencil marks and changes
but only just prior or subsequent to it. He had of mind and the areas of paper left blank
to choose a point of view that included the (though Still Life with Blue Pot is in fact

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 92

the French academic system of sketching, working up a composition, arriving
at a pictorial conception and then producing a finished picture. Parts of a classical
tradition inherited from Italy, they were clearly demarcated stages in a linear move-
ment from the artist's initial idea to his final execution of it, in which that idea was
the a priori from which the tableau was deduced, and the "realization" of a picture
was simply a fleshing out of the original mental concept, first through drawing of
various kinds, which corresponded directly to the artist's intention or "design," and
then through the filling in of color. These categories were also linked to the academic
hierarchy of subject matter, for the belief was that the higher genres demanded more
ideation in the first place, relegating the later steps in the procedure to the status of
mere supplementary layers, while the lower genres demanded less ideation, more
coloration. And those artists who were thought to privilege color, or coloris, over
drawing, or dessin, were thought to—and did—work in a less rational, less orderly,
more "feminine" way, groping their way to their conception through their execution.4
As we will see, Cézanne, with his famous struggle to "realize" his "sensations,"
was both a colorist and a designer who worked in constant dialogue between the two
procedures: neither wholly an Impressionist given over to recording in colored patches
what his eyes saw before him, nor yet a Symbolist desiring a return to symbols, ideas,
and designerly order given in advance, he was caught between two systems.5 For to
"realize" a "sensation" was something quite different from the realization of a prior,
predetermining concept. And to work in the lower genres, such as landscape and still
life, in which the hierarchy of subject matter and the hierarchy of procedure were
increasingly leveled, meant that the étude after nature began to take pride of place
over the idea, or concetto, undermining the distinction between sketch and finished
picture, and even privileging the former over the latter. Yet Cézanne was not as com-
mitted as his Impressionist colleagues were to throwing the baby out with the bath-
water; his work in the studio, in particular—which is to say, his work in still life—
shows traces of the old system of procedural categories, as much as the old division
of subject matter into genres. And this is true especially of his work in the sketch
medium of watercolor.
In the academic system the étude was a freestanding study after a model or
after nature; it was part of a process of training that served to sharpen the artist's
observational and representational skills. It was never meant to have exhibition
value outside the studio. In the nineteenth century the outdoor étude gained in im-
portance as part and parcel of academic procedure, but again it was part of a peda-
gogical process, to be distinguished from the making, completing, and formalities of
a composed, exhibitable picture.6 Increasingly, however, artists outside the academic
system—landscape artists in particular—took the étude and elevated it to the status

of exhibitable work: the Impressionist exhibitions were the prime site for the display
of such painting. For the Impressionists; the esquisse and the croquis—notes toward,
first steps in the outlining of, a pictorial idea—and especially the ébauche—a more
fully worked-out compositional sketch preliminary to the work itself, to the laying
down and filling in of the design on the final canvas—became increasingly moot, since
their études after nature were their tableaux, and since, at least conceptually, they left
the studio behind. For Cézanne, it was a more complicated matter: he never really
left the studio behind, for all of his attachment to painting en plein air, sur le motif.
He had begun as a painter of concetti, or images of the mind, and though his subject
matter, his style, and even his approach underwent a revolution through his associa-
tion with Pissarro and the Impressionists, he nevertheless re-created the old world of
the studio in his private atelier and hung onto it throughout his life as a place to
learn and relearn his method and as a complement to, even a necessary grounding
of, his work out of doors. Again, this is clearest in his still lifes, which are by defi-
nition studio compositions, and in his watercolors, which formed a running parallel
to his work in oil and as such evoke the old sketch-versus-finished-picture dichotomy.
Many of Cezanne's watercolors, indoors and out, are very clearly études, dis-
tinguishable from tableaux not so much in their status as exhibitable pictures as in
their focus on single items or isolated patches of nature: Foliage (fig. 30) and many
of his watercolor studies of rocks, branches, and forest undergrowth are clearly
études, whereas other watercolor sketches, such as those of Mont Sainte-Victoire (for
example, fig. 17), look more like ébauches in their compositional function and their
correspondence to oils of the same motif, though it is not clear that they were
preparatory to the oils in which he repeated the motif so compulsively. (In any case,
the landscape ébauche is a bit of redundancy, since the compositional motif is given
in nature: perhaps Cezanne's watercolor versions of the motif were ways of trying
out the motif's relationship to different formats and hence different framings in a
medium associated with informality rather than finality.) Studio studies found in
this exhibition of items such as the green jug and the jacket on the chair also inhabit
the status of the étude fairly clearly in their isolation, their lack of compositional
complexity, and their one-to-one equation between piece of penciled and watercol-
ored paper and the item in the studio that it represents.
Similarly, Cezanne's slightly more complex still-life studies of the early and
middle years are clearly just that. His simple Decanter and Bowl of around 1879-82
(pi. 12), the single item multiplied by two, was evidently never meant to become a
realized pictorial composition, either in itself or in the medium of oil. Its simple
ledge with two items side by side, their forms laid in clearly and then just barely sup-
plemented by color notes in watercolor, is an étude of this object and that, each of
which would show up in grander, fully realized compositions in watercolor and oil,
but which correspond to no more fully rendered version of the same arrangement.
Their side-by-side-ness and the twosome that they make are too simple to qualify as
a composition. Slightly later, a further multiplication is seen in Apples and Pears of
the mid-i88os (pi. 13) and Apples, Bottle, and Glass of around 1895-98 (pi. 14), whose

Plate 12
Paul Cézanne ezanne's diminutive Decanter and Bowl in other, grander, fully realized compositions in
Decanter and Bowl, C

of 1879-82 was evidently never meant to watercolor and oil but which together correspond
€.1879-82 become a realized pictorial composition, either to no more fully rendered version of the same
Watercolor and graphite on
white paper, 13.3 x 12 cm in itself or in the medium of oil. Its simple ledge arrangement. Their side-by-side-ness and the
1 3 with two items side by side, their forms laid twosome that they make are too simple for this
(5 /4 x 4 /4 in.)
Private collection in clearly and then just barely supplemented by to qualify as the more elaborate composition
color notes in watercolor, is an étude of this of a tableau.
object and that, each of which would show up

fruits have escaped their containers, with one pear remaining behind in the former.
No table or ledge is indicated in Apples and Pears—the paper is left blank—but
some such still-life surface is implied as coequal with the surface of the drawing
sheet. In Apples, Bottle, and Glass, a foreground edge, a surface, and a background
have begun to be fleshed in, pencil lines to be masked by watercolor, and the draw-
ing sheet covered from top to bottom. But that process has only just begun; the way
to completion is only hinted at. These are études of the kind that might have been
developed further, into compositions reminiscent of some of Cezanne's simpler
Chardinian oils of spherical fruit on a surface, like Still Life with Apples of the previ-
ous decade (fig. 20) and many others. But they did not; they remained in the state of
fruit outlines penciled in in fairly firm relation to one another and then just barely
fleshed out with watercolor. In another subset of the still-life genre, Vase of Flowers
(fig. 31), delicate in its spatial and coloristic minimalism, is an étude complete unto
itself. There is just enough penciling and coloring in of the corner, the glass, and the
Figure 31
Paul Cézanne
Vase of Flowers, 1890
Watercolor and graphite on
white paper, 46.6 x 30 cm
5 13
(i8 /i6 x ii /iein.)
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam
Museum po.6-i966v

Plate 13
Paul Cézanne ples and pears have multiplied to escape But it did not; it remained in the state of fruit
Apples and Pears, 1882-85 A p outlines penciled in in fairly firm relation to
their container, which sits holding one
Watercolor and graphite remaining pear. No table or ledge is indicated— one another and then just barely fleshed out
on white paper, 25 x 32 cm
(97/ x 12% in.) the paper is left blank—but some such still-life in wa terco lor.
Private collection surface is implied as coequal with the surface
of the drawing sheet. This is the kind of étude
that might have developed further, into a compo-
sition reminiscent of some of Cezanne's simpler
Chardinian oils of spherical fruit on a surface.

Plate 14
Paul Cézanne pples, Bottle, and Class (1895-98) is an windowed background. Cézanne then started to
Apples, Bottle, and Class, A
1895-98 example, from early in the last decade of model and fill in some of the apples—along with
Pencil and watercolor Cezanne's life, of the beginning lineaments of a the left edge of the bottle, and the interstice
31 x 48 cm tableau in pencil and watercolor that was never between the bottle and the goblet—with water-
1 7 completed or even fully conceived. In it, the color. But that is as far as he went; in varying
(l2 /4 X l8 /8¡n.)
Paris, Musée d'Orsay painter has sketched a ledge surface replete with degrees, the apples are left open to the white of
horizontal edge and a hint of drawer or other ver- the paper they barely inhabit, while the glass and
tical seam, ten apples (and perhaps the beginning bottle disappear into the thin air above them.
of an eleventh, to the left), the beginnings of a Here Cezanne's working process, still more or less
glass and a wine bottle to the right, the slight linear in its order of pencil conception and water-
suggestion of a pot lid or other such item at the color realization, displays itself with a lovely
left, and the first indications of a curtained or economy of means.

Plate 15
Paul Cézanne rom the last years of Cezanne's life, Apples of the 18805 studies, yet the pencil lines that
Apples on a Plate, 1902-6 F course over and under its slight color speak of
on a Plate is related to earlier, relatively
Watercolor and graphite on simple arrays of fruit on or off plates. Its six or neither a linear process nor a state of pictorial
white paper, 31.5 x 47.9 cm
3 7 so apples are grouped together, more or less completion. This is a study that Cézanne simply
(i2 /s x i8 /s in.)
Rotterdam, Muséum Boijmans on or in a plate, and without any spatial elabora- stopped working on, perhaps adding a few pencil
Van Beuningen F n 121 tion to give them a compositional context, so lines for good measure under the motif just
that together they constitute a single study before he stopped. Here the evident lack of
motif. Apples on a Plate lacks the wider context, completion—its unnecessariness—spells étude,
the fuller fleshing out in color, and indeed the but the equally evident antilinearity of the
competition between the registers of pencil and process of drawing and watercoloring is one
watercolor of Cezanne's watercolor tableaux. shared, in this period of Cezanne's work, by étude
Its ratio of watercolor to pencil is similar to that and tableau alike.

posy to indicate its existence and remove any doubt about its where and what and
its belonging to the floral category of still-life drawing and painting. It needs noth-
ing else; it would lose all of its rare quality—all of its poignant airiness, insubstan-
tiality, and lightness of touch—were more pencil or color to be added, were the space
of the paper to be more filled in, were it to become something more complex, or
something worked out in the heavy medium of oil. This is the étude valued in itself,
reminiscent of some of Manet's sparest, most elegant watercolor haikus of just ten
years earlier.
But what of "studies" like Apples on a Plate (pi. 15) from the last years of
Cezanne's life, the Les Lauves period? Related to earlier, relatively simple arrays of
fruit on or off plates, it represents more than one object. But its six or so apples are
grouped together, more or less on or in a plate, and without any spatial elaboration to
give them a compositional context, together they constitute a single study motif. Like
other works of its time with still-life items gathered together in a container, Apples
on a Plate is distinguished from them in lacking their wider context, their fuller
fleshing out in color, and indeed their competition between the registers of pencil
and watercolor. In this work, the ratio of watercolor to pencil is similar to that of the
i88os studies, yet though the color is slightly more complex—less one-to-one in its
referentiality—the pencil lines that course over and under and through that color
speak of neither a linear process nor a state of pictorial completion. This a study that
Cézanne simply stopped working on, I feel fairly sure, perhaps adding a few pencil
lines under the motif for good measure, just before he stopped, to punctuate the
expanse of white paper left bare around the apples, eating into the barely indicated
fruit and its even more minimally limned plate, substituting for a frame around a
composition. Here the evident lack of completion—its unnecessariness—spells
etude, but the equally evident antilinearity of the process of drawing and watercol-
oring is one shared, in this period of Cezanne's work, by étude and tableau alike.
Among Cezanne's drawings and watercolors, as late as the 18905, there are
studies that seem to function as esquisses toward or after a composition in oil as well.
Such is the case with one of the graphite drawings that Cézanne made of the plaster
cupid from the front (fig. 33) some years before painting the oil in the Courtauld
Institute of Art Gallery, London (fig. 32), which itself is a tableau on the theme of
studying in the studio. A suite of faintly watercolored drawings of other aspects of
the cupid, seen from the side and the back (pi. 16) date to well after the Courtauld
oil. Thus, in the painting of this one picture, Cézanne first worked from drawing to
picture, esquisse to tableau, in the traditional, linear order, and then he complicated
and reversed the procedure by doing esquisses after the tableau or the subject of the
tableau (which itself raises the question of the relationship between plaster copies,
painted copies of those copies, and original paintings). There is no question but that
the Courtauld Still Life with Plaster Cast is a tableau and the earlier graphite drawing
an esquisse toward it (or perhaps an étude that turned into an esquisse when Cézanne
decided to make a full-fledged tableau of the subject), but all the steps in between
and afterward both allude to and undo that clarity of procedure, just as the multiple

Figure 32 Figure 33
Paul Cézanne Paul Cézanne
Still Life with Plaster Cast, Plaster Cupid, c. 1890
€.1894 Graphite on paper,
Oil on paper mounted 49.7 x 32.2 cm
9 11
on panel, 70.6 x 57.3 cm (i9 /ie x i2 /ie in.)
13 9 London, The British Museum
(27 /16 x 22 /ie in.)
London, Courtauld Institute 1935.4.13-2
of Art Gallery, The Samuel
Courtauld Trust,

Plate 16
Paul Cézanne
Plaster Cupid, c. 1900-1904
Watercolor and graphite
on paper, 47 x 22 cm
1 11
(i8 / x 8 /i6¡n.)
New York, The Pierpont
Morgan Library,
Thaw Collection
Cezanne's drawings and watercolors include

studies that seem to function as esquisses
either preparatory or subsequent to a composi-
tion in oil. Such is the case with his many pencil
and watercolor studies of a plaster cupid that
both predate and postdate the oil painting in the
Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery (fig. 32),
which itself is a tableau on the theme of studying
in the studio. The present Plaster Cupid belongs
to a group of faintly watercolored drawings
showing various aspects of the statuette, seen
from the side and the back, dating well after the
Courtauld oil. Thus, in the painting of this one
picture, Cézanne first worked from drawing
to picture, esquisse to tableau, in the traditional,
linear order, and then he complicated and
reversed the procedure by doing esquisses after
the tableau, or the subject of the tableau (which
itself raises the question of the relationship
between plaster copies, painted copies of those
copies, and original paintings). This set of studies
both alludes to and undoes the clarity of studio
procedure, just as the multiple contours of
Plaster Cupid refute their own clarity of line by
repeating, rehearsing, and reinforcing it. Yet,
at the same time, those repeated lines reiterate
the studio process of working in the round and
studying a plaster cast from all sides.

Figure 34 contours of the later pencil and watercolor studies refute their own clarity of line by
Paul Cézanne repeating, rehearsing, and reinforcing it. (The earlier graphite study is more tradition-
Eternal Feminine, c. 1877 ally drawn and shaded, its incomplete contours mimicking the incompleteness of the
Watercolor, gouache, body of the plaster.) Yet, at the same time, those repeated lines reiterate the studio
and graphite on white
paper, 17.4 x 22.8 cm process of working in the round and studying a plaster cast from all sides, and with
(6 /s x 9 in.) it the distinction between sketch (watercolor) and finished picture (oil).
Private collection Much earlier in his career, Cézanne had produced compositional ébauches in
the old manner, working out a concept on paper before translating it into oil and
Figure 35 finishing it on canvas. Such is the case of the fully worked-out watercolor study for
Paul Cézanne Eternal Feminine, painted around 1877 (figs. 34, 35). This was done during a period
Eternal Feminine, c. 1877
Oil on canvas, 43.2 x 53 cm in which Cézanne was shifting from an earlier emphasis on fantasy pictures to his
(17 x 20 /s in.) focus on the plein air motif, with the intertwined problems of "sensation" and "real-
Los Angeles, J. Paul ization" that it raised for him. The shift was not then, and never would be, complete,
Getty Museum 87.PA.79
for Eternal Feminine was part of a larger set of variations on the theme of the nude
done from the imagination rather than the model. This theme, which began with
subjects like the Temptation of Saint Anthony and variations on Manet's Olympia
and Déjeuner sur l'herbe, continued to preoccupy Cézanne until the end of his life, in
his great studio productions, the Large Bathers in the Barnes Foundation, Merion,
Pennsylvania; the National Gallery, London; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
But one thing did change fairly markedly, and that was what had been the develop-
ment of a theme in a watercolor ébauche and its translation into a finished oil: in the
realm of an imaginative concept, an allegory in this case, that lent itself to and even
required such development. The bathers, male and female, that Cézanne worked on
throughout his life may have had oil and watercolor variations, but the progress from
one to the other was never clearly linear, nor was the distinction between sketch

Figure 36
Paul Cézanne
Seated Woman (Madame
Cézanne), €.1902-4
Watercolor and graphite on
white paper, 48 x 36 cm
7 3
(i8 /s x i4 /ie in.)
Collection Jan and Marie-Ann
and picture so evident. The Large Bathers, for instance, are clearly tableaux, yet
they are as marked by a nonfinito process as any of the smaller variations in oil and
watercolor. They also complicate the division between plein air study and in-studio
production, for their outdoor settings invoke the world of landscape, while their
generalizations of the body evoke the classical atelier. (Most of them had to be done
in the studio, for no other reason than that they were too large to take outside.)

In his portraiture and genre painting, Cézanne worked between watercolor
and oil, but rarely did his watercolors serve as sketches toward his oils. One excep-
tion might be Seated Woman (Madame Cézanne) of around 1902-4 (fig. 36), which
relates both to works like Young Italian Woman at a Table in the Getty Museum (fig.
28) and to many of Cezanne's seated portraits of this period—all works that confirm
his interest in the body that sits at and leans upon the still-life table. The watercolor
study—with its reiterated blue contours of that body, its clothes, the chair back
against which it rests, and the table leg under which it bends its knees—relates even
more loosely to those oils, however, than the cupids sketched from several sides after
the fact of the Courtauld picture.
Every now and then Cézanne produced what might be seen as a pencil and
watercolor ébauche of a still-life subject. At the end of his life, Three Skulls (pi. 9), for
example, yielded an oil not only of the same subject but also with the very same com-
position. Or perhaps it was the other way around, and the oil yielded the watercolor,
which is to say that though the watercolor looks like a sketch for the oil, they might
be variations of each other in different media rather than preliminary study and final
picture. A bit earlier, however, in the 1888-90 Ginger Jar with Fruit on a Table (fig. 37),
Figure 37
Paul Cézanne
Ginger Jar with Fruit on
a Table, 1888-90
Watercolor and graphite
on paper, 24 x 36 cm
(97/ie x 14 in.)
Private collection

Figure 38
Paul Cézanne
Ginger Pot with Pomegranate
and Pears, 1893
Oil on canvas, 46.4 x 55.6 cm
(i8V4X 21% in.)
Washington, D.C., The Phillips
Collection, Gift of Gifford
Phillips in memory of his father,
James Laughlin Phillips, 1939
Cézanne made an exception to his usual practice and began a still-life composition
in oil (fig. 38) by working out its main lineaments in pencil and watercolor. Indeed;
he did two watercolor ébauches for that composition, rearranging the foreground
and the background a little as he went. As he did so, he experimented with different
ways of using the paper support of the ébauche to indicate a context not yet filled in,
and hence the definitionally incomplete status of the study, and/or to stand for the
white of the napkin (whereas in the final oil-on-canvas composition the napkin is
painted in, in white pigment). Here is another midcareer example of watercolor serv-
ing a secondary and supplementary role in relation to pencil contours, filling them
in or at least beginning to do so with just an indication of how they might be filled
out further. The final fleshing out, however, the termination of the work by filling in
all of its contours, is in this instance left to the oil.
But that was an exception to the rule, one that served as a kind of control on
the experiment by pointing to the traditional studio procedures of studying, sketch-
ing, and finishing, of drawing and then coloring in, which Cézanne was already then
in a constant process of complicating, revising, and inverting. There are a few other
instances of watercolors that might have ended up functioning as something like

Figure 39
Paul Cézanne
Apples, Carafe, and Sugar Bowl,
Watercolor and graphite on
white paper, 48 x 63 cm
3 3
(i8 /4 x 24 /4 in.)
Vienna, Belvedere Museum,
ÔG 1941
ébauches, but for more "realized" watercolor compositions rather than for oils. Such
is the case of the late hesitantly painted Apples, Carafe, and Sugar Bowl (fig. 39) in
relation to the more confidently rendered and fully fleshed-out Still Life with Apples
on a Sideboard (pi. 17), to which a bottle, pitcher, and knife have been added and in
which the blue metal pot of the Getty still life has replaced the ceramic sugar bowl.
But there the movement is from watercolor to watercolor, and again the distinction
between preliminary workup and variations on a watercolor theme is suggested only
by the difference in complexity of composition and relative fullness of handling. By
this time, when he drew and painted Still Life with Blue Pot, it was much more usual
for Cézanne to alternate between finished and unfinished compositions in water-
color and pencil that had no preliminary relation to compositions done in oil, except
that in the studio context of still life, the medium of watercolor retained closer ties
to the nonfinito—allowing Cézanne some breathing room and relaxation from his
struggles at "realization" so that he could explore minimally worked-out and barely
filled-in compositions—whereas the oils tended, if anything, in the direction of
dense overwork. So while he worked on full-fledged watercolor tableaux like the
Getty still life, he also worked on more hesitant studies like Still Life with Blue Pot
and Bottle of Wine (fig. 40), with its wavering, incomplete contours and its blank-page
table foreground.

Plate 17
Paul Cézanne xecuted in the last years of Cezanne's and the pot. A full-fledged tableau, it renders
Still Life with Apples on E
life, Still Life with Apples on a Sideboard is enough of the surrounding space to give
a Sideboard, 1902-6 one of the fullest and richest still lifes of that those objects a wider context. Yet this still life's
Watercolor on white paper,
47.9 x 62.9 cm vibrant period. In addition to the same blue objects are not really available for everyday
7 3 enamel pot found in the Getty watercolor, an use and consumption. They are too prolific and
(i8 /s x 24 /4¡n.)
Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art, array of other familiar objects are laid out on crowded for eating or cooking and thus evoke
The Wendy and Emery its humble, single-drawer sideboard: wine the studio, rather than the kitchen or dining room.
Revés Collection, 1985.^12 bottle; fat, flowered, wavy-lipped pitcher; platter; Vividly colored and fleshed out in the
projecting knife handle; and approximately fifteen widest range of that palette, this still life is as
apples, four within the plate and the rest grouped "finished"—in the sense of being complete—as
to either side of it, at the bases of the bottle any of the watercolors of this period.

OME OF CEZANNE'S WATERCOLOR STILL LIFES are very clearly tableaux, for
the same reasons that the Getty watercolor is. Such is the case of late works
such as the still life on a sideboard just mentioned, Bottles, Pot, Alcohol Stove, and
Apples (fig. 16), and Still Life with Apples and Chair Back (pi. 8). Three Skulls (pi. 9)
and some of the related works of the same subject with one or two skulls look like
completed compositions, though there are related works in oil. The status of other
late watercolor still lifes is less clear, partly because, although they are complex, one-
off works, their quality of nonfinito is more pronounced. Those include Still Life with
Apples, Pears, and a Pot, Still Life with Cut Watermelon, The Dessert, Still Life with
Blue Pot and Bottle of Wine, Still Life with Fruit, Carafe, Sugar Bowl, and Bottle, and
Still Life with Green Melon (fig. 15; pis. 6, 8; fig. 40; pis. 18,19).
It is in still-life studies like these that Cézanne must have come to understand
the concept of the tableau non fini, the unfinished picture whose unfinish was a sign
not of an incomplete linear procedure, of an idea not fully realized, but rather of a
new conception of the picture and, along with it, a fundamentally revised process
toward it. It was here too that he must have begun to understand the possibility of
transforming the study proceedings of the studio into the notion of the variation on
the study theme. Cezanne's variations on a theme were related to but also fundamen-
tally unlike the Impressionist series: namely, the temporal, optical, or gestural series
in which Monet and Degas in their different ways began to specialize, in which the
time, light and palette, and/or the motion of the body changed the look of the same
motif. The Impressionist notion of the series was an essentially photographic or cin-
ematic conception, in which the series as a whole rather than individual parts of it
eventually became the work of art.
Cezanne's variations were otherwise: in them the processes of the studio
were studied from one picture to the next; no temporal, optical, or gestural change
motivated the movement from one to the other; none was part of a larger whole.
Instead, each represented a world unto itself that incorporated into itself temporal,
optical, and gestural changes, and within them the only movement that occurred was
the movement in the studio, in the picture itself, and in the eye and body of the
draftsman as he drew, of the painter as he painted, and then of the viewers as they
view. That is to say, objects were moved and reordered, brought in or left out, put in
different parts of the studio; the artist's eye and hand then moved around the space
of the picture and the objects within it, drawing and redrawing, painting and re-
painting them, and then the viewer is asked to do the same, vicariously. Each picture
was a rehearsing of the time, optical space, and gestures of the studio. And each pic-
ture was a testing ground for pushing at the boundary between study and picture,
and determining where and when to begin and where and when to finish—since
there was no longer a predetermined place to start and to stop, as there had been in

Figure 40
Paul Cezanne
Still Life with Blue Pot and
Bottle of Wine, 1902-6
Watercolor and graphite on
yellowish paper, 47.6 x
3 1
59.7 cm (i8 /4 x 23 /2 in.)
New York, The Pierpont
Morgan Library, 2002.61
the old movement from study to sketch to workup in a study medium to the begin-
ning and ending of a finished tableau.
Of the examples in the exhibition of watercolor still lifes that hover between
the condition of the study and the status of the picture and come to occupy the new
category of the tableau nonfini, perhaps Still Life with Fruit, Carafe, Sugar Bowl, and
Bottle and Still Life with Green Melon (pis. 18,19) are the best ones to examine some-
what more closely. They belong to a larger set of variations on a theme including
Still Life with Cut Watermelon (pi. 6), which refers back through Manet and Fantin-
Latour to the Spanish tradition of the bodegone, in which melons were prominently
featured. From one to the other, they show the principal motif of the watermelon
cut and whole; in the front, the side, and the back of the composition; turned one
way and the other so that the long, distended side and the shorter, more spherical
side are turned toward the viewer; and in relation to different objects, which them-
selves change from study to study, picture to picture. If I were forced to determine

Plate 18
Paul C4zanne The late St/7/ Life with Fruit, Carafe, Sugar front, the side, and the back of the composition;
Still Life with Fruit, Carafe, Bowl, and Bottle is among Cezanne's water- turned one way and the other so that the long,
Sugar Bowl, and Bottle, color still lifes that hover between the condition distended side and the shorter, more spherical
Watercolor and graphite on of the study and the status of the picture, occu- side are turned toward the viewer; and shown
white paper, 31.5 x 43.1 cm pying the new category of the tableau non fini. in relation to different objects, which themselves
(i2 /s x 17 in.) It belongs to a larger set of variations on a theme, change from study to study, picture to picture.
Paris, Musee du Louvre, including St/7/ Life with Cut Watermelon (pi. 6) This variation on the theme is one of the more
Fonds Orsay R.F. 38979 and St/7/ Life with Green Melon (pi. 19), which refer tightly packed, overlapped, and watercolor-
back through Edouard Manet and Henri Fantin- layered of the set; it is also more fully contextu-
Latour to the Spanish tradition of the bodegone, alized than most, with its side view of the
in which melons were prominently featured. watermelon and its table corner giving onto a
From one to the other, they show the principal bit of implied wall and floor space.
motif of the watermelon cut and whole; in the

Plate 19
Paul Cezanne till Life with Green Melon presents another "culminating-point" end of the melon becomes
Still Life with Green Svariation on the southern theme of the the fulcrum of a welter of brushwork and color
Melon, 1900-1906 watermelon grouped with other objects. If whose kaleidoscopic vibrancy epitomizes the
Watercolor and graphite
on paper, 30.5 x 48.3 cm Still Life with Fruit, Carafe, Sugar Bowl, and Bottle special bravura of Cezanne's late mastery of the
(12 x 19 in.) (pi. 18) falls closer to a tableau, Still Life with medium of watercolor.
Private collection Green Melon is a virtuosic study in deliberate
incompletion of the sort found in Still Life with
Blue Pot and Bottle of Wine (fig. 40). Indeed the

which was the study and which was the picture, I would choose Still Life with Green
Melon as the former and Still Life with Fruit, Carafe, Sugar Bowl, and Bottle as the
latter, if only because the first, with its repeatedly contoured end-view of the melon,
has fewer objects, put side by side, and is less fully fleshed out than the second; more
tightly packed, overlapped, and watercolor-layered; and more fully contextualized,
with its side view of the watermelon and its table corner giving onto a bit of implied
wall and floor space.
At this point, however, the reader may feel that these distinctions between
etude and tableau have become so slight and so complicated as to no longer matter.
Yet though that is essentially right—they certainly no longer matter much to us—
they were distinctions of the studio that had mattered to Cezanne and out of which
he developed a different order of conception and execution, and a different logic of
pictorial completeness. They haunt his work in the studio, set up as a kind of theater
for exercising and confounding such distinctions. They also help to define the pro-
cess and pictoriality of the Getty Still Life with Blue Pot, a consummate demonstra-
tion of the full realization of the possibilities of Cezanne's new order and logic of the
watercolor picture: densely layered, built up the way an oil painting might be; water-
colored from corner to corner (except at the center, where the white linen lies); com-
plexly composed out of a multitude of objects whose simplicity is turned into a kind
of monumental grandeur; possessing an expanded space that runs from back wall
to the foreground of the table/sofa to the hint of a seam between wall and floor, pro-
ducing a kind of geography; and unified by a tapestry that moves behind, around,
and under the composition and offers all the opportunities for layering, peacock col-
oring, spatial unfolding, and bravura studio demonstration that in this instance
Cezanne decided to seize.

1. See Peter Galassi, Corot in Italy: Open-Air and Critical Evaluation of Modern Art (Chicago and
Painting and the Classical-Landscape Tradition (New London: University of Chicago Press, 1984), on the
Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1991), relationship between Impressionism, Symbolism,
esp. 11-12, on this set of distinctions. See also and Cezanne. Of course, no artist, Impressionist or
Albert Boime, The Academy and French Painting in otherwise, ever really records what he sees passively,
the Nineteenth Century (London: Phaidon, 1971). as if he were a camera lens. For example, Monet,
who Cezanne said was "just an eye" ("but what an
2. John Rewald (Paul Cezanne: The Watercolors, a eye"), worked hard, deliberately, and very complexly
Catalogue Raisonne [Boston: Little, Brown, 1983], on creating the impression of a passive recording of
232-33, nos. 571, 572) proposes that the Getty water- the light that entered his retina. On this subject, see
color is a second, more accomplished version of the Robert Herbert, "Method and Meaning in Monet,"
Michigan work, which he understands as a kind of Art in America 67, no. 5 (1979): 90-108; and James
preliminary working out of the composition, or Elkins, What Painting Is (New York and London:
ebauche (though he does not use that word). While I Routledge, 1999), 9-39.
agree that the two watercolors are intimately related,
and that the Getty watercolor is the more satisfying 6. Which is not to say that they were not collec-
of the two, I believe them to be variations on a theme, tible and exhibitable as etudes. See Galassi, Corot
rather than a sequence of preliminary and final efforts. in Italy, 83-129.
3. The medium of watercolor, however, also seems 7. Cezanne was converted to a lightened palette
to have provided Cezanne with a model for painting and an emphasis upon working sur le motif instead
more lightly in oil, for allowing the ground to show of from fantasy (which characterized his work of the
through and using its white or cream as a color in i86os) or upon copying the old masters (which he
itself. All who write about Cezanne's work in water- nonetheless continued to do throughout his life),
color suggest its importance to his late work in oil. through his close association with Camille Pissarro,
particularly his campaign at Pontoise and Auvers
4. See Jennifer L. Shaw, "The Figure of Venus: in 1872 and 1873.
Rhetoric of the Ideal and the Salon of 1863,"
Art History 14 (December 1991): 540-57, on the 8. A prime example of the landscape ebauche,
nineteenth-century maintenance of the link between which corresponds to a finished oil of the same sub-
drawing and masculinity versus color and feminin- ject and composition, is the watercolor Mont Sainte-
ity. Shaw's argument rests in large part on Charles Victoire with Large Pine of 1886-87, in the Phillips
Blanc's Grammaire des arts du dessin (Paris: H. Collection, Washington, D.C., which is probably a
Renouard, 1876) and its elaboration of the older preliminary version of the oil painting of the same
association between color and femininity, going back name in the Courtauld Institute Galleries, dated to
at least to Roger de Piles in the seventeenth century, approximately 1887.
who defined colons as the "difference of painting,"
that which distinguishes painting from the other 9. The nude was a studio tradition, predicated on
visual arts: "le Coloris est non seulement une partie the study of the male model—called the academie—
essentielle de la Peinture; mais encore qu'il est la as the basis of history-painting pedagogy and com-
difference;... le Dessein soit le genre de la Peinture, position in the academic atelier and, increasingly, on
et la Couleur sa difference" (Roger de Piles, Dialogue the study of the female model in the private studio.
2 2 The so-called Eternal Feminine may be understood as
sur le colons [Paris: Langlois, 1673], 5~ 6)- See
Jacqueline Lichtenstein, La Couleur eloquente: a kind of allegory of the studio, looking back to
Rhetorique et peinture a I'age classique (Paris: Flam- such precedents as Courbet's Atelier: A Real Allegory
marion, 1989); and "Making Up Representation: of Seven Years of My Life as a Painter of 1855, which
The Risks of Femininity," Representations 20 (Fall was also such an allegory.
1987): 77-87. Coloris is to be distinguished from
couleur, colons means the illusionism and harmonic 10. An uncharacteristic earlier study (c. 1885)
system of colors, while couleur simply signifies this of two whole watermelons with their stems still
or that pigment or local color. attached, overlapped and seen from the side, is
clearly an etude; there are no other variations on
5. See Richard Shiff, Cezanne and the End of this theme, nor are there any oils of this subject.
Impressionism: A Study of the Theory, Technique, See Rewald, The Watercolors, 133, no. 200.

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 115

Pencil Lines and Watercolors
Brilliant yellow. —Naples yellow. — Chrome yellow.
— Ocher. — Natural sienna.
Vermilion.—Red ocher. —Burnt sienna. —Red lacquer.
— Carmine lacquer. —Burnt lacquer.
Veronese green. —Emerald green. — Green terra.
Cobalt blue. — Ocean blue.—Prussian blue. — Black.1

Figure 41
Computer-enhanced infrared
digital capture of Still Life with
Blue Pot (pl.i)

toe now embark on a fourth and
final trip through the Getty's
Still Life with Blue Pot: this time in depth, into
and through the layers of pencil and water-
color and back out again. Once again this trip
will require patience, for this time we shall
look at the watercolor still life archaeologi-
cal ly: digging with our eyes into the artist's
working process, from the top level of rein-
forcing Prussian blue down through the thin-
ner colors and through the tangle of lines
laid over and under those colors to the paper
beneath. This is an imaginative excavation, Detail 8
however, rather than an art detective's
fact-finding mission; it will not reconstitute
Cezanne's procedure step by step in any dialogue among paper, pencil, watercolor, hypothesized pencil point and watercolor
exact or linear way, for his way of working in and objects in space, it offers a journey brush and the strata of graphite and pigment
his late years, especially in fully orchestrated through the studio in microcosm: through its left by them.
compositions like this one, pits itself against objects but also through its means, as those We cannot look only in depth, of course,
such a reconstruction. Rather, this "dig" will means create and at the same time search or localize that looking in one area of the
try to re-create what Cezanne might have unceasingly for their ends. And so the state- drawing, one part of the watercolor. Indeed,
done according to what the viewer's eye of-the-art conservator's and photographer's we will have to circle around and retrace our
is encouraged to see in different parts of the technology to which we have subjected this steps to and from a starting point. And dif-
drawing-painting (it is a mix of both) and in work, available neither to Cezanne himself ferent parts of Still Life with Blue Pot suggest
different kinds of viewing campaigns. For this nor to the layman viewer of our time, will be different kinds of in-depth looking. We are
is a still life in watercolor that solicits from used only to enhance what the naked eye encouraged, by habit as much as by Cezanne,
the viewer a comprehensive and empathic sees, feels, and gropes toward, what it senses to look first at the rough center of the large,
engagement in the artist's eye-and-hand lying beneath its imagined fingertips, its uncut sheet of machine-made Montgolfier
Detail 7

Saint Marcel les Annonay paper (detail j),2 "under": to discover the hints of the very first what came last—the drawing in blue that
where beneath the eyes the artist's process lineaments of the pencil drawing that laid in reinforces most of the outlines—but in
reverses itself and we see white linen turn the composition, in tandem with tiny, acci- between we lose our certainty in a kaleido-
back into the unpigmented white of the paper dental splatters of pigment and possibly scopic mix of paint and pencil marks that
itself", laid bare here, as in a little bit of the the last dashes of graphite, finishing touches dares us to sort it out while cheating us of our
upper left-hand corner of the sheet, and here and there, leading me, at least, to conclusions. The maze starts here, at the
glimpsed here and there elsewhere, but imagine a painter holding a brush loaded center, where there is least to see through,
whiter in effect in the center (detail 8).3 with blue in one hand and a pencil stub in the where the work and material buildup is least
It is here that the discrepancy between other, working ambidextrously between one dense, where the trap is set and the game
subjective optical effect and objective obser- and the other in a manner never seen before of hide-and-seek begun. From there we hunt
vation and comparison shows itself: the and still all but inconceivable to the eye and in vain for the exit, as the painter himself
white at the center is no whiter in reality than mind trained in centuries of drawing practice. must have done, getting himself in and out of
the white of other untouched areas of paper, Here as well as elsewhere it is difficult to the woods and in again, trying not to paint
yet its effect is that of the clean, bright ascertain what was last; even the microscope himself into a corner, endeavoring not to
white of table linen in contrast to the dimmer fails to settle the bet once and for all. We are paint too much or too little, attempting to
beige effect of the "background" whites. relatively secure about what came first—a find a balance easier to achieve in a less-
That enhanced sense of whiteness is due to tangle of lines laying out the central compo- worked etude, looking to know when and
several factors at once: first, our reading sition above the white linen (which shows up where to stop but never knowing in advance.
the center white as white cloth and as fore- in an infrared scan [fig. 41] and is hinted at in If we scan around the edges of the cloth
ground rather than as background white and, certain places upon close inspection)—and at the center, we begin to see beginning and
second, our seeing it in relation to the bright
rather than faded colors that enframe and
punch up its whiteness. There is a third factor
as well, and that is the sheer central breadth
and weight of its whiteness—as Cezanne is
reputed to have said about green, a kilogram
of white is whiter than half a kilo, or a gram,
of the same color. And, one might add, a
large patch of white at the center is worth a
good deal more than a small patch of white
in a corner or at an edge; its placement
matters as much as its amount and its context
Thus, paradoxically, it is where the paper
has least upon it that it carries most optical
weight and illusionistic charge. And it is to
where the paper is flattest and barest, and
facture and color all but nonexistent, that
our eye is drawn first, to look at what lies Detail 9

ending marks as well as mistakes that must
have been accepted thereafter as a given of
the unfolding composition: the watery patch
of thinned olive green at the lower left sug-
gests itself as one such (detail 9), a pooled
bit of stray color that had to remain, like
other stray marks of the same or similar
color, at the bottom edge of the conflated
surfaces of table linen and sheet of paper,
along the edge of the red stripe on the linen
to the right, beneath the third apple diago-
nally above it (detail 10). The white cloth is
a bit like a palette in that regard, with traces
of paint upon it, a red side by side with that
dun green, divided by a slight touch of blue,
topped by a bit of eggplant purple-brown,
on the edge of golden yellow. Near those
stray marks, exposed pencil marks trail off,
underneath the blue-edged fold to the left,
dragging along more or less parallel to
the edge of the linen above, under and over
the loops of blue just beneath the pitcher,
alternating with one another rather than
matching up, threaded on top of one layer
of diaphanous paint and beneath another.
Meanwhile, down and over to the right, two
lines cross over the descending diagonal of
the red stripe: an afterthought, punctuating
the end of the drawing perhaps, or perhaps
Detail 10 the index of a pencil picked up, yielding to
impulse and then to second thoughts, and
put down again—a pentimento, of a pecu-
liarly Cezannian kind, over rather than under
the "finished" work, marking the openness
of a process never finally closed, the aleatory
fragility of the decision to stop. And then,
around the periphery of that peculiar shape
of off-white with its pencil tracks, brush

splatters, and subtle faux pas, veil upon
veil of color gathers—emerald green, ocher
orange, sunflower yellow, red turning to
wine, and Prussian blue—all hedged in and
.held at bay by a boundary, reinforced repeat-
edly, of the same blue.
It is underneath that blue boundary—
that blue-upon-blue demarcation between
the linen's tabula rasa and the tapestry's
bright, complicated films of color—that
we begin to sense the presence of the very
first steps of the drawing, the roughing in
of the composition in the loosest of looping
graphite lines. Upon closer inspection, and
then technology-aided examination, we find
pencil lines swirling in a scribble—some-
times continuous, sometimes broken—that
meanders from apple to apple to white pot
to milk pitcher to folds in the linen and then
partial edges, and finally to the fragmentary
contours of the tapestry on the right, and in
Detail 11
Detail 12

mark hesitations and changes of mind—about
the size and number of apples, for instance,
as well as the relation of apples one, two,
and three to tapestry—and those pentimenti
are allowed to show through to become an
integral part of the final work.
Other hesitations and changes of mind
are evident to the naked eye as it searches
amid the morass ofwatercolor hemming
in the open area of white at the center: in the
pitcher handle, in the third apple from the
left, in the white pot It is in the latter espe-
cially that we see repeated loops delineating
the right contour, the handle, and especially
the lid and left contour: there several lines
swing through the interstitial tapestry be-
tween the pitcher handle and the little pot,
until they hit the blue-veiled left edge of that
pot (detail 13). In his later years Cezanne was
never content with a single outline for any
one object, and this little patch between two
objects is an excellent example of that dis-
content. It is as if he wished to make objects
and the spaces between them vibrate, and
to make those in-between regions count as
Detail 13 materially existent zones— not empty "nega-
tive" space, neither flat nor neutral, but an
undulant fabric that catches the greater den-
the upper left we find straight structuring almost all of Cezanne's outlines are reiter- sities of objects within it, pushing and pulling
lines that indicate a heavy horizontal fold and ated several times over, in pencil and later in at them, creating them out of and reabsorb-
the vicinity of the curved edge and fall of the watercolor, thus undercutting in one of ing them into its own material weave. It is
heaped tapestry. The dimmest of lines are to several ways the long-standing opposition also as if he wanted to rehearse the gestures,
be found beneath the layered blue of the between line and color—runs from the sec- the eye-hand intersections, the very process
eponymous blue pot—thin veins of graphite ond lump of apple on the right to the apple of constituting objects in space through
mined from within a sediment ofcobaltlike behind the white pot, forming both the edge drawing repeatedly, gradually ascertaining
blue so thick as to become almost opaque of a small hillock of tapestry and a large and firming up their edges yet at the same
(detail 11): perhaps the blue pot was the first span within which several smaller arcs are time constantly putting them in doubt,
thing to be roughed in. A repeated curve— embraced (detail 12). Those several lines also coming to a resolution through a process of

to the filling in, layering over, and finishing red stripes on the cloth, much of the brightly
off by watercolor: instead of separate layers, colored design of the tapestry, and all of
they suggest a threading of pencil through the wall, including the horizon line of wain-
and through, and a reiterative, intricated, scoting, the double line of molding where the
dialogic relation between graphite lines and wall meets the floor, and the two large zones
Detail 14 watercolor veils. Such a relation is suggested of wall surface, light and dark, that they
as well in the two swoops of pencil left par- demarcate. Indeed, the archaeology of
tially evident in the folds beneath the pitcher, Still Life with Blue Pot reveals that whereas
irresolution while unsettling every act of partly bolstered and partly countermanded graphite congregates in the center of the
object definition. There was no pictorial in the parentheses of blue and the veils of composition, next to a large zone of mostly
product finally free of process for Cezanne in rose laid over it (detail 15). It is suggested empty white paper, it thins out and disap-
his late years, no objective world free of as well in the loose, blunt-pencil scribble pears toward the perimeter of the work. This
subjective interaction with it, no visual per- of graphite below and perhaps also over the is not to say that the peripheral regions of
ception free of imagined tactile apprehension fold in the very center of the linen, just below the still life were unimportant to Cezanne or
or the very real physical touching of hand the second apple from the left. And it is indi- insignificant to the viewer. On the contrary,
and pencil to paper: one comes into fragile cated in the quick swirl of pencil that escapes they allow fora dialogue between object
being through the other while constantly from beneath the red stripe to the left. composition and free surface that reads as
verging on dissolution—as if the kinetic state There are many areas in the watercolor open space, between densely and thinly
of matter were all tangled up with the equally where no pencil lines at all are to be found, worked areas; they provide relief and breath-
kinetic and equally entangled acts of per- whether visible or buried beneath color: the ing room, encouraging the to-and-fro of
ception and delineation.
The pencil lines beneath the light and
darker blues of the white pot lie uncovered
for a moment in two crisscrossing lines in
the free white zone of the pot's lid, between
the two peaked points of left rim and lid tip,
reinforced as they are by blue darkening
to black (detail 14). Those pencil marks, like
the quick X over the red stripe at the right
edge of the linen, are freer and darker than
the others. Such marks call into question
the underdrawing status of the graphite, and
while they provide no certainty as to whether
they were either final or later than the fainter
marks located beneath areas ofwatercolor,
they do propose a different kind of relation
between drawing and painting than the linear
trajectory from initial conception in pencil Detail 15

Detail 16
scansion and up-close inspection of different bare white paper, and its lack of concentrated
ways of working, snarled and reinforced pigment or dense complication, it is easier
at the center, diaphanously veiled at the out- to see through one layer to the next, from the
skirts. We shall begin with the latter, and palest of rose to a wash of blue to a slightly,
move back in through the forest of tapestried but only slightly, denser accumulation of dun
taches, or patches, at the boundary of the green, not necessarily in that order. (It is a
central arrangement of objects, and in from pool of the same dun green that seems to
there to the composition's node, the blue pot have escaped its bounds to lie stranded at the
that is both starting and culminating point, bottom left edge of the white linen, perhaps
that is layered with invisible graphite and initially in an effort to balance the pale green
gradations of blue running from thin to thick, with the brilliantly multicolored with the bare
translucent to opaque, from watery binder white areas of the composition.) Also avail-
to richly pigmented mineral deposit, the able to the eye here as nowhere else in the
two constitutive elements of the watercolor still life is the characteristic watercolor
medium. "handwriting" of Cezanne, the way he feath-
In the watercolor's northern suburbs ered the watery pigment out from its original
we find the shallowest, most diluted of pool in thinner, fingerlike strokes that simu-
its districts, the band of translucent brown late the hatch marks of his drawing (not
and green above the line of the uppermost to mention the diagonally laid "constructive
course of the wainscoting (detail 16). There strokes" of his oil painting) while amor-
Cezanne's unusual manner of working phously evoking the very hand and even the
in watercolor—laying down a patch of thin, brush (es) with which he worked (detail ij).
relatively unmixed color, allowing it to dry, In the ribbon that divides the upper
and then layering over it other patches, often region of wall from the lower (this skyline is
stroked in different directions, of other col- the largest threshold on the sheet of paper,
ors, similarly thin, and similarly pure—can be a kind of frame within a frame), we can see
parsed by the eye with relative ease. Because the complementary way in which Cezanne
of the openness of this strip, its aeration by worked with macroboundaries and large
Overleaf: detail 17

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 125

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 126

Detail 18
horizons that were not established first in covering over of the objects at the center of
pencil. Building broad and narrow strips the sheet initially suggest. Much the same
of color on top of one another, repeating the happens, with different colors and different
horizontal line of the course in small, its degrees of complexity, in the horizontal
golden color in violet and rose and pale courses of the bit of tower molding, where
blue—including, toward the conclusion of the wall meets the floor in the southeast por-
the process, a long patch of pale blue tion of the composition's geography—there
smudged over the wainscoting band just to the dominant harmony is provided by a some-
the right of the blue pot (detail 18), and what darker, thicker overlay of rose on ocher
several horizontal marks beneath it a longer, with touches of blue and maroon; in the
subtly wavering line of purple broken off border of the tapestry (or is it the sculpted
and briefly begun again at the end—Cezanne molding of a chair or so fa?) at the bottom
worked from the horizontal patch to the center, where banding borders on curvilinear
thin line of color, rather than the other way patterning and gold perforated by white
around. In other words, he quite literally leads into the denser polychromy of the tap-
blurred the boundary between color tache estry (detail 19); and in the red stripe in
and draftsmanly line, laying them side by the cloth in the western region of the paper,
side and over one another so that the differ- where opaque red is laid over transparent
ence between one and the other is seen red, grows a bit of blue line beneath it, and
as a matter of thickness and thinness, trans- is finally touched by a pale mark similar
lucency and opacity, the slightest distinction to the one found next to the blue pot (detail
in emphasis between the faintest of light* 20). None of these thickened lines, stripes,
refraction (pigment) and the most basic and bands has pencil lines beneath it; all have
graph ism (line). partial colored lines laid over them.
At the same time he reversed the order Between the two strips at the right lies
of line and color that the roughing in and a region of layered, crosshatched, fringed

Detail 19
patches of color, similar to those above the just parallel to it. The veiled demesne of the
topmost course, but denser, browner and watercolor as a whole is writ large there;
rosier in tonality, and darker—a kind of at the same time it is as if Cezanne wanted to
earthen median between the tapestry's com- mark the distance of the surface of the wall
plicated Provencal color patterning and the from that of the textile, as well as from the
faintly brushed surface of the upper zone of surface of the paper.
wall (detail 21). At the left limit of that lower And perhaps he may have wanted to
section of wall, where the wall behind the mark in some fashion the turning inside out
tapestry seeks to meet the contour of the of line and color, so that each is seen as an
tapestry's fall off the table, there is a curi- inversion of the other and the opposite of
ously negative edge, a halo effect where the itself in its usual incarnation. Thus, the halo-
pale overlay of strokes forming the wall stops ing of the tapestry by a kind of interstice, the
just short of the right edge of the tapestry's transformation of its edge into an extended
expanse of densely figurative, many-hued threshold that is made partly of bare paper,
Detail 20 marks, forming a line of descent that runs produces an understanding of line, not as a

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 129

< Detail 21
visibly definite contour containing a positive
content and distinguishing it from the nega-
tive space around it, but as the place where
color stops for a moment, where there is an
interruption or gap in the color field, a kind
of invisible vibration. Meanwhile the down-
ward course that it follows highlights the way
the edge of the falling fabric is broken into
a series of colored marks, ocher followed by
blue followed by vermilion and so on, like Detail 22
so many threads of color that make up the
woven field of tapestried marks. Line, we see
at that boundary where the action of limning
turns into liminal area, is at once made of
color, an interval within color, and a relative
absence of color, while color itself is spun
into line, and every color mark is seen to have
a linelike edge. We can see that clearly in
the strokes ofwatercolor to the right of the
fabric's fall, many of which have visible
shapes and contours through which we look
to see other contoured shapes of color. The
nimbus of the falling tapestry stands as a
macromarkerofthe micrometamorphosis of
line into color and color into line across the
length and breadth of the watercolor.
The tapestry itself is woven out of a Detail 23
more intricate warp and woofofcolor-as-
line and line-as-color. Again, it is important exceptionally intense demonstration of Baudelaire favored and then some: kaleido-
to realize that except for the odd fold, scrib- Cezanne's realization of some of Baudelaire's scope, prism, jewel, not to mention stained
ble, and bit of contour, there is hardly any most abstractionist remarks about modern glass, veil, and film (details 22, 23). That is,
graphite to be mined from this terrain: the art and color: the modern artist acts as a Cezanne worked with the medium ofwater-
colored patterning of the fabric has no pencil kaleidoscope, said Baudelaire; color is rela- color in such a way as to emphasize its prop-
underpinning. Indeed, the tapestry in its vari- tional and plural in its effects, while working erties of translucency and prismatic refraction.
ous areas—heaped into a hill at the upper on the eye and imagination of the viewer Moreover, instead of blending his color in
left, falling into a cathedral-like fold at the like a prism or faceted jewel.5 The vibrant water on the palette or the paper, he chose
bottom left, and descending with a curved translucency of the textile's weave of color to work with brilliant, unblended, close-to-
interior fold at the bottom right—offers an marks calls to mind the very metaphors that primary colors—red, blue, green, ocher, and

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 131

< Detail 24
sometimes a deep purple and brown—
laid one on top of the other and left to dry
between applications so that at their inter-
section one color shows through the other
and produces an optical mixture that way:
as in veils of transparent fabric of different
hues, layers of colored film, or glass painted
with one color on one side and another on
the other side (detail 23).
Look at any patch of the tapestry, and
you wilisee approximately how this works.
Cezanne chose a fruited, flowered, and foliate
tapestry with yellow-gold bands running
through it (seen primarily in the upper-left
corner), whose richly colored pattern lent
itself to the color play produced in the
watercolor (detail 24). But he heaped it so
that its flat surface is all but indecipherable
as such, with folds crossing over folds so that
the patterning of the tapestry is everywhere
interrupted by itself. Which is to say that the
patterning of figure and ground that makes
up the tapestry—and in itself complicates
the volumetric-object-versus-flat-back-
ground reading of the still life—is already
layered over itself in a self-obfuscating way,
such that the eye searches constantly for
figurative legibility amid convoluted color Detail 25
patches, and between piled design, dense
matter, and tangled, overlaid color mark.
Up close, the intrication of color and gold, and blue marks interlaced with green •—in this way too Cezanne inverts the order
pattern overlap becomes particularly laby- between them (detail 25). There it is pos- of representation, so that figurative touch
rinthine. Take, for instance, the lobed red sible to see how the curving marks of the yields abstract mark as much as the reverse.
and gold and blue and green pattern at the watercolor brush, especially the bit of ogive- At the same time we can see how a red lay-
right edge of the falling fabric, where it arched red lined with blue next to the blue- ered on top of gold and a hint of green and
is most legible as pattern: that is where the limned, gold-lobed shape at the very edge of blue produces a color that shades from
figured shapes of the textile are most dis- the tapestry at the lower right, follow the brown to wine and orange and purple, and we
cernible, producing a curvilinear field of red, shapes provided by the tapestry's patterning can see the edges of two different marks of

Detail 27 >
place, and seems to lie over them in another);
the order is never fixed (detail 26). The layer-
ing is densest at the very center of that
mountain of tapestry, where the two bands of
gold intersect and lose their way, and where
the edges of a multitude of once-watery
color patches crowd ten- and twenty fold.
At the inner edge of that heap, where those
colors array themselves at the limit of the
Detail 26 -bare-paper area of white, they pile atop
a buried line of graphite, dense blue atop
maroon atop green, probably atop an under-
red, one building the translucency of the lines of the gold banding within the tapestry layer of paler blue. There density of pigment
other into a density that begins to approach provide the gross indication of surface design confronts absence of pigment in a kind of
opacity. Next to it we can see how a loaded and the only road map to its pattern; they meeting of opposed forces. Meanwhile the
C-curve ofocheris built on top of a dilute also suggest a kind of structuring armature upper-left contour of the heap of fabric is
ocher with veils of pale green and lavender within which color runs riot. And here the gone over in broken, repeated threads of red,
beneath, topped off by dense Prussian blue heaping of the tapestry into a massive, almost ocher, blue, and maroon, while interior folds
contour strokes above. Above those two geological fold that seems heaviest just are reinforced by blue, maroon, and black
interlocked shapes we can see how green above the bent horizontal of the gold banding commas, dashes, and S-marks (detail 24).
under blue layered with a touch of red pro- accrues out of the dense, lapidary accretion Below, where the fabric falls on the left,
duces a variegated blue ranging from sky of color marks one on top of another, with there is one final confrontation between the
and cornflower to lavender. Above that and some aeration by white, as if it were literally figurative use of color and a dense color lay-
slightly to the left, the maze of marks and the amassing of pigment layers that accounts ering that suggests abstraction—the gothic
colors becomes more complicated, and the for the amassing of the material weight fold of tapestry layered with blue and violet
figurative basis of the color layers is increas- of the fabric. Or is it that the folding of color that lies between lobed and outlined shapes
ingly buried: an orange is made of red built upon color to the point that its figurative of gold, green, and red, clearly evoking the
on top of yellow, lying next to a green that is underpinning is lost to sight was suggested by fruit and flowers of the tapestry design
glimpsed through blue and eggplant next the folding of the fabric over itself upon the (detail 2j). Here Cezanne worked his colors
to layers of ocher, next to veils of ocher, wine, studio table? The morass of colors both next almost too heavily, for the greens, yellows,
and blue. Commas of blue, dark red, and to and beneath and over one another is unde- and wines that lie below the blue and milky
black finish it all off—again, line completes cidable, literally stunning in its effect of violet begin to grow muddy, and the rein-
color as much as the other way around. rainbow hue and peacock splendor—all we forcement by blue—everywhere blue—red,
Again, figuration lies buried beneath kalei- can do is inventory its oranges, reds, ochers, and black lines begins to acquire the look and
doscopic color. greens, bl'ues, and purples, and guess at feel of an unwanted pentimento—an effort
In the heap of tapestry in the upper left, which lies under and over which (sometimes to correct that began to go too far. Pull back,
the complication just described is acute and one and sometimes the other—for instance, however, and it has the advantage of weight-
almost indescribable. Here the large dividing a green lies under blue and purple in one ing the sheet, balancing the vivid blue note

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 134

Detail 29 >
struck by the blue pot that gives the still where the composition began and where the denotes the colored flesh of their surf aces.
life its name, and offsetting the volumetric finishing touches are most evident Here White shows through—with a squiggle of
drama of the centerpiece of blue pot, color—red and gold for the apples, blue and red-brown in the leftmost apple (detail 28),
pitcher, white pot, and apples atop an appar- white for the vessels—is used representa- with traces of graphite visible in the third
ently brilliant white cloth. tionally. The veiling of dark red and ocher in apple from the left—but it shows through to
And here ends our archaeological journey the apples works much the same as else- provide highlights and "culminating points":
through the still life, our excavation of its where in the still life, except that here it those volumetric prominences that were so
site of drawing and watercolor, at the place rounds and models the forms of the fruit and crucial for Cezanne, reversing perspectival
diminution and vanishing-point convergence
and organizing space around multiple nodes.
White paper makes the porcelain of the
pitcher and the enamel of the white pot,
while repeated blue with a bit of purplish red
and a touch of green provides a hint of pat-
terning on the former and the modeling
of the latter, as well as the multiple curving
lines of its metal swing handle. Blue upon
blue upon blue and violet forms the blue pot,
which has almost no free white in it; instead,
its highlight/"culminating point" is made
out of a pale wash of blue glimpsed through
thickened, opaque layers of richer, darker
blue (detail 29]; instead, one looks through
blue to see more blue, and slightly different
shades of blue. Finishing it all off are the blue
and black and violet—and sometimes red—
but mostly blue reinforcing lines that repeat-
edly demarcate the contours and the inter-
stices between objects, causing them to
resonate, vibrate, and hover between line
and color, growing the two together. As we
watch, the still life comes into being "out
of the blue" and goes on coming into being
constantly, forever, on the studio table,
on the sheet of paper, before our eyes, under
Cezanne's imagined pencil and brush.
Detail 28

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 136

F STILL LIFE WITH BLUE POT is UNUSUAL in its many-layered, multicolored
complexity and labor-intensiveness and in the way most of its pencil disap-
pears beneath its color work, it is typical of the late watercolors in all genres in its
highlighting of its own means method, and medium; its antilinearity and open-
endedness of process; and its questioning of the concept of finish, the opposition
between line and color, and the old distinction between intention and execution. There
are other still lifes in pencil and watercolor from the late period, when Cezanne had
moved into his studio at Les Lauves, that are highly worked and densely colored. But
none combines monumental composition with complexity of color effect in quite the
way that Still Life with Blue Pot does, not even the still life that is closest to it in sub-
ject matter (fig. 3).6 And most are much more etude-like in their compositions, they
are thinner and more transparent in their layerings, and thus their reiterated pencil
lines are more evident and the interaction between graphite and watercolor more
directly available to the eye. Nevertheless, the Getty still life partakes of the late project
of probing the very process of "realization" that so preoccupied its author both indoors
and out. Usually this has been understood as a struggle with the open-air landscape
motif in the weightier medium of oil on canvas. But it was more delicately and self-
reflexively rehearsed in the studio domain of the still life and the sketch-suited, see-
through medium of watercolor and pencil on paper.
A trajectory may be traced from Cezanne's early and middle years to the last
half-decade of his life in these regards. Most of his still lifes in watercolor date from
the latter period, perhaps because he was ailing and more housebound than thereto-
fore and so probably spent more time in his atelier, working between his large can-
vases of nudes and his smaller watercolors of studio objects—between what have so
often been considered the greatest and the least of his works, the human body in oil
and the "colored drawing" of the nature morte. There are only a few such experiments
in the 18705, a period during which he produced very little in the way of still life in
any medium and few watercolors of any subject. The i88os and 18905 mark the real
beginning of his watercolor practice in this domain, but though there is the begin-
ning of a watercolor efflorescence in the outdoor study, his watercolors of still objects
indoors remained relatively sparse and consistent in their method during these
years. It was not until after he had built the Les Lauves studio and moved into it in
1902 that his still-life practice in this medium really took off. And then, in an oscil-
lation between the minimally and the richly worked that characterized his outdoor
production as well, his studio still lifes began to show off the new method that had
developed in his outdoor watercolors, with their attention to air as a palpable me-
dium, their seeking after effects of shimmer, prismatic light, foliate vibration, and the
translucent overlapping of leaves; and their exposed use of pencil, not only for
underdrawing and contour definition and reinforcement but also to vie with color,

Figure 42 in the form of patches of loose graphite that weave themselves into the warp and
Paul Cezanne woof of Cezanne's multicolored overlay of watercolor taches. An excellent example
Forest Pat/7, c. 1904-6 of this is to be found in the late Forest Path (c. 1904-6; fig. 42), but it is evident much
Watercolor and graphite
on off-white wove paper, earlier as well, in studies such as Rocks at Bibemus of around 1887-90 (fig. 43).
45-5 x 63 cm In his earliest era of still-life production, the i86os; Cezanne painted one tiny,
15 13
(i7 /i6X 24 /i6in.) unusual flower piece in watercolor (pi 20), heavily touched with gouache and scrib-
The Henry and Rose bled with the same expressionist dabs and flourishes found in the rightmost pear of
Pearlman Foundation, Inc.,
1.1988.62.46 Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup (fig. 5)7 This was a fully developed floral
composition similar to Henri Fantin-Latour's by then signature flower pieces in its
Figure 43 tabletop array of bouquet, fruit, plate, and other dining-room vessels, and at the same
Paul Cezanne time a kind of baroque caricature of Eugene Delacroix's effusive florals in its swirling
Rocks at Bibemus, manner. Thus it mapped the epitome of romantic handling onto what might be seen
c. 1887-90 8
Watercolor and graphite as its opposite, the quintessence of bourgeois painting. With its dark background
on off-white laid paper, and liberal application of opaque whites, it has the look of a miniature version of
45-9 31.8 cm Cezanne's roiling oils of the same period, and it couldn't be more different from his
(i8 /s x izVzin.) late work in watercolor in the genre of still life. Like Sugar Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup,
The Henry and Rose
Pearlman Foundation, Inc., and in its very rarity, it too is a kind of marker: of Cezanne's strategy of caricaturing
1.1988.62.35. his forebears and adopting an exaggeratedly expressionist facture to signal a kind of
hyper-romanticism—a kind of late-coming sign of the romantic manner; of a concept

Plate 20
Paul Cezanne ezanne's earliest known watercolor still couldn't be more different from his late work in
St/7/ Life: Flowers and Fruit C; life, this singular flower piece once watercolor in the genre of still life. It is a kind of
on a Table, c. 1865-70 belonged to the artist's patron Victor Chocquet marker: of a concept of process as direct, unme-
Watercolor and gouache
on cardboard, 15.9 x It is heavily touched with gouache and scribbled diated gesture in a fluid material medium and
1 with the same expressionist dabs and flourishes of Cezanne's strategy of caricaturing his forebears
12.7 cm (6 /4 x 5 in.)
California, private collection found in the rightmost pear of St/7/ Life: Sugar and adopting an exaggeratedly expressionist
Bowl, Pears, and Blue Cup (fig. 5). With its dark facture to signal a kind of late-coming hyper-
background and liberal application of opaque Romanticism. He considered it important enough
whites, it has the look of a miniature version of to include in the third Impressionist exhibition,
Cezanne's roiling oils of the same period, and it in 1877.

of process as direct, unmediated gesture in a fluid, material medium; and of water-
color as a place to quickly render an effect that might then be worked out more care-
fully in oil (though Cezanne did not really begin to produce oil florals until later).
There was nothing particularly new about any of this, except perhaps the overtness
of Cezanne's consciousness of facture, and his deliberate overstatement of the
romantic posture of gestural colorism, in which ideation and execution are one and
the same, rather than the latter following the former in a linear sequence.
That was a foretaste; the real work in still life and watercolor, and the trans-
formation of Cezanne's understanding of studio process in those domains, was still
to come. There are two still lifes in particular that exemplify the trajectory from
Cezanne's middle to his late method of working between pencil and watercolor in the
studio genre of still life: Three Pears of around 1888-90 (pi. 21) and Still Life with
Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit of 1906 (pi. 22).9 In the former, the deceptively simple com-
position of three fruits on a plate against a patterned background is brought into
being by means of the relatively traditional filling in of pencil outline and shading
by color and gouache. In this watercolor it is safe to say that almost all of the pencil
work is underdrawing, creating the rounded contours of the three pears, the slightly
warped ellipsis of the plate, and the background pattern, and then shading the right
edge of the rightmost pear, the area beneath the pears on the plate, the passage from
the flat to the lip of the plate on the left, and the left edge of the plate. In all of these
places the graphite is left visible, and toward the upper-left part of the composition,
there is a long diagonal patch of pencil hatching to suggest a cast shadow, perhaps:
that patch of hatching is the sort of thing that might come in later watercolors, that
might be laid over pigment and transform itself into a kind of color work, respond-
ing to and weaving itself into the layers of color taches. Here it appears to be painted
over, and to be followed by a wash of light blue above.
In this little tableau Cezanne used a quarter sheet of weightier laid paper and
a dark, blunt, heavily applied pencil, so that the filling in of his lines by color is all
the more evident: we see it in the yellow, green, and orange pigment that fleshes in
the pears, in the black that goes over the design of the blue and black fabric, in the
bits of wash in the bowl of the plate, above it to the left and below it to the right, and
in the final application of strokes of gouache beneath the plate to the left and high-
lighting bits of the tapestry just above the pears. The novelty of procedure in this
still-life picture lies in the way Cezanne went over his contour lines repeatedly, and
particularly in the way he left much of the paper bare, not only the framing corners
of the image but its content as well, rendering the plate and the volumes of the pears
through the cream of the paper itself. Those areas of bare paper serve to make the
very simplicity of the still life complex, by folding positive and negative shape into
an intricate, Escher-like pattern of inversion—shape into interstice, volume into
space and ground and vice versa. At the same time they underline the linear process
of working from underdrawing to shading, to filling in with color, reinforcing with
black and finishing off with bits of opaque white to produce a final product that is
solidly there. Already the process by which the image is formed on the paper is left

Plate 21
Paul Cezanne The deceptively simple composition of Three work, responding to and weaving itself into the
7/iree Pears, c. 1888-90
Pears is brought into being by means of layers of color taches. Other novelties of proce-
Watercolor, gouache, the relatively traditional filling in of pencil outline dure include heavy, repeated contour lines and
and graphite on cream laid
paper, 24.2 x 31 cm and shading by watercolor and gouache. Here the abundant use of bare paper, not only in
(9 /ie x 12% in.) it is safe to say that almost all of the pencil work the framing corners of the image but also in the
The Henry and Rose is underdrawing, even though the graphite is plate and the volumes of the pears where the
Pearlman Foundation, Inc., left visible beneath the watercolor. Toward the cream of the heavy laid paper shows through.
1.1988.62.32 upper-left part of the composition, there is a Already the process by which the image is formed
long diagonal patch of pencil hatching to suggest on the paper is left evident, but that process is
a cast shadow, perhaps: that patch of hatching methodical and linear, and the relation between
is the sort of thing that might come in later start and finish, line and color that it enacts is
watercolors, that might be laid over pigment clearly sequential.
and transform itself into a kind of penciled color

Plate 22
Paul Cezanne The late Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit the craft of glassblowing, bringing light and dark,
St/7/ Life with Carafe, offers a beautiful demonstration of how transparent and translucent forms into being,
Bottle, and Fruit, 1906 much distance Cezanne had traveled within his as in this late still life. Never before did any of
Watercolor and soft
graphite on pale buff still-life and watercolor process. This still life Cezanne's still lifes in watercolor set side by
wove paper, 48 x 62.5 cm is clearly devoted to showing its own compulsive side so demonstratively the different degrees of
(i8 /s x 24Vain.) process of making—of drawing with the pencil rendering and the different ratios of watercolor
The Henry and Rose and painting with the watercolor brush and then to pencil needed to bring a set of objects into
Pearlman Foundation, Inc., drawing and painting and drawing again—thus existence on the surface of a sheet of paper. The
indexing what goes on in the studio as well as act of making carafe, bottle, and fruit by means
what goes into it. Never before did the making of of pencil and watercolor is as much the subject
three different glass vessels out of the ingredi- matter of the still life as the carafe, bottle,
ents of white paper, graphite lines, and watercolor and fruit themselves, arranged in the studio for
layers reiterate itself so evidently, showing how painting.
the concert of painting and drawing could mimic

evident, but that process is methodical and linear, and the relation between start and
finish, line and color that it enacts is clearly sequential.
Not so in the late period. Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit offers a beau-
tiful demonstration of how much distance Cezanne had traveled within his still-life
and watercolor process. This still life is clearly devoted to showing its own compul-
sive process of making—of drawing with the pencil and painting with the water-
color brush and then drawing and painting and drawing again—thus indexing what
goes on in the studio as well as what goes into it. Never before did the making of three
different glass vessels out of the ingredients of white paper, graphite lines, and water-
color layers reiterate itself so evidently, showing how the concert of painting and draw-
ing could mimic the craft of glassblowing, bringing light and dark, transparent and
translucent forms into being, as in this late still life. Never before did any of Cezanne's
still lifes in watercolor put side by side so demonstratively the different degrees of
rendering and the different ratios of watercolor to pencil needed to bring a group of
objects into existence on the surface of a sheet of paper: very little of either (the glass),
a superabundance of watercolor in relation to graphite line (the wine bottle), the pre-
dominance of line over color and a surfeit of graphite (the carafe). Thus the act of
making carafe, bottle, and fruit by means of pencil and watercolor is as much the
subject matter of the still life as the carafe, bottle, and fruit themselves, arranged in
the studio for painting. At the same time the process of making that Still Life with
Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit shows off takes the incipient novelties of earlier works like
Three Pears—the use of repeated contours, the employment of white paper as both
figure and ground, volume and space, and the floating free of patches of pencil
hatching—and pushes them to the point that the old linear sequence from line and
shade to coloring in is, if not inverted, stretched and opened up into a circle, the uni-
directional movement between original concept and its fleshing out converted into a
dialogue without fixed conclusion between graphite and watercolor.
Much more than in the Getty still life, it is clear that Cezanne meant to let his
pencil work be everywhere evident, as a crucial part of the factural effect of Still Life
with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit. It is by no means underdrawing anymore, though clearly
Cezanne began by penciling in the composition, and it is more than likely that he
made his final touches in watercolor. But the pencil is everywhere available to the
eye; no infrared scanning is necessary to tease it out. It is to be seen in the line of
wall molding, the back and front lines of the ledge on which the objects sit. It repeat-
edly marks the outlines of fruit—seven or eight apples and a bunch of grapes; the
glass that stands behind them; the tall, dark wine bottle; and the transparent, wide-
bellied carafe, replete with two different options as to where its neck ends, at the line
of wall molding or in the lip that rises above it. It can be seen in the label of the wine
bottle, and in the scribbled and curving marks on the wall surface behind the still
life (or is it a balcony railing?—probably not, but it recalls those views out open win-
dows with the rail and curving ironwork of a balcony in the foreground, such as
the one on the verso of another late landscape). It is those marks, particularly the
scribbling to the right, that most suggest the loosing of graphite from its moorings

in contour and shading and its use as atmospheric and color patch that we find in
the late landscapes and which very possibly was applied after the first campaigns of
drawing and watercoloring. But most of all it is the repeated contouring, found espe-
cially in the water carafe, that signals and reiterates the transformation of drawing
from linear sequence to open process, from first idea to constant rehearsal of the ges-
ture of making and reaction to the physical action of drawing, and from line to color
too—shown best in the interlacing of graphite with blue and other colors of contour-
ing, likely to have come at the very end.
Cezanne's earliest work—such as the flower piece discussed above (pi. 20)—
declared its allegiance to romantic gesturalism, in which the directly evident gesture
of the painter's color-loaded brush was the mark of self-expression in process and in
medium, which is to say worked through in and carried by the movement and color
of paint, rather than established prior to it. Cezanne's relation to that gesturalism
was caricatural and thus paradoxically at a slight remove from it, and he famously
had pulled back from it by the mid-18705, when he entered the period of his calcu-
lated, uniform, "constructive" stroke and began his effort to curb his neo-Romantic
excesses and rationalize his process of "realization." (At the same time, it is possible
to trace his difficulties with the process of "realizing his sensations" to that shift.)
The exaggerated romanticism of his late adolescent temperament never entirely dis-
appeared, however, but was woven dialectically into the constructive aspect of his
facture, in the form of the "deformations" of his "handwriting," and into his subject
matter in the sensual displacements and anthropomorphisms of his still-life objects
and in the form of his nudes, painted not "from life" but from fantasy. By the late
period of his work, he had returned fully to a process-bound gesturalism, but by then
it no longer purported to be immediately demonstrative or direct in its phantasmatic
expressiveness; quite the contrary. This is clear in works like Still Life with Carafe,
Bottle, and Fruit, with its repeated demonstration of the "how" of its own making.
Rather than the feelings of its author toward the subject matter of fruit and glass-
ware, its topic is itself and how it came into being in the studio, in the continual
negotiation among eye and hand; paper, pencil, and watercolor; and objects in the
world, in this case on a studio shelf that suggests another of those Cezannian open-
ings onto a wider, if not a plein air, space.
The color patches and repeated contours found particularly in Cezanne's late
works have often been understood as representing the flux and temporality of the
world perceived and of the process of perception. Indeed, if for no other reason than
that he was the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty's artist of choice,
Cezanne has been understood as the quintessential representative of a phenomeno-
logical way of seeing, in which the world seen, though we know that it preexists us
and we are a part of its preexisting fabric, comes into being in the living act of see-
ing and is all bound up with the temporal, physical, and kinesthetic subjectivity of
the person doing the seeing. What these accounts have always left out, however, is
the physical act of drawing and painting itself—the fact that for the artist especially,
there is no act of seeing free from or prior to the bodily act of representing. And that,

in my view; is what Cezanne's late watercolors in particular, and especially his late
watercolor still lifes, argue repeatedly: the artist sees and learns to see by drawing
and by painting as much as the other way around. His eye looking at objects is nego-
tiated by his hand making marks on paper; his drawing and painting are educated
by drawing and painting and more drawing and painting as much as by seeing itself,
and in tandem with seeing; he never stops learning how to draw and to paint and
indeed repeatedly learns it from the ground up in the very act of drawing and paint-
ing. As much as the seeing with which they are imbricated, drawing and painting are
acts that take place in bodily time, and they need the studio for their constant
rehearsal. Finally, drawing and painting respond to each other in an intricate mate-
rial dance that seeks out the very boundaries, both physical and metaphysical,
between line and color in order to probe and question them.12
Merleau-Ponty himself often characterized the living phenomenon of percep-
tion as a form of "drawing": "definite qualities only draw themselves [se dessinent] in
the confused mass of our impressions if it is put in perspective and coordinated by
13 14
space"; "sound and color . . . draw an object, an ashtray or a violin." And one of
Merleau-Ponty's prime demonstrations of phenomenological experience concerns a
drawinglike action of the arm, hand, and pencil:
If I pass a pencil rapidly in front of a sheet of paper where I have
marked a point of reference, at no moment am I conscious that the
pencil lies above that reference point, I do not see any of the interme-
diate positions but nevertheless I have the experience of movement.
Reciprocally, if I slow down the movement so that I keep the pencil
in sight at all times, at this point the impression of movement disap-
pears. Movement disappears at the very moment when it conforms
most to the definition which objective thought gives to it. Thus one
can have phenomena in which a moving thing only appears when
taken in movement. To be aware of moving is not to pass step by step
through an indefinite series of positions, it is only given in starting,
continuing and achieving its movement.15
Comparing this experience of movement with that of watching the moving
arms of workers unloading a truck, Merleau-Ponty goes on to elaborate this contrast
between the geometrical plotting of movement in "objective thought" and the phe-
nomenological feeling of movement in space. We might apply his statement to
Cezanne's rehearsal of the action of drawing in both line and color in his late water-
colors, as in Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit, in which it is not so much the point-
by-point geometry of the carafe that his repeated contour captures for the "objective"
eye once and for all, as the experience of drawing recapitulated for the empathic eye
over and over again (fig. 44). Merleau-Ponty also attempted to describe the kinesthetic
properties of colors such as blue, and perhaps the blues, greens, purples, and rose
reds that run over and under the graphite lines (which at the same time run over and

Figure 44
Detail of Still Life with
Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit
( l. 22)
under the watercolors) can be experienced in just that way—not only as enhancing
and confirming the outside edge of the carafe and other objects but also as redou-
bling the kinesthesia of drawing.
Inasmuch as Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit rehearses the action of
drawing that brings its glassware into being, it also lays out the liquid properties of
watercolor, as well as its quality of translucency and finally its ability to allow pencil
to show through—or not—depending on the material saturation of pigment and the
buildup of layers to the point of opacity, depending, that is, on the proportion of

water to pigment, and the watercolor medium's ability to oscillate between demate-
rialization and materiality. That each of the pieces of glassware in this still life is at
least potentially liquid-bearing—empty or nearly so in the case of the glass; full and
colored in the case of the wine bottle, with its darkly colored glass; half full and
transparent in the case of the carafe—is germane to this still life's self-reflexive self-
scrutiny, its deployment of the "what" of the studio still life to explore the "how" of
watercolor process. And, in the beautiful logic of that process, in which the relation
of form to content, medium to topic, is turned inside out, the emptiness and fullness
of each vessel correspond exactly to the range of minimum to maximum rendering:
the barely-there of the all-but-empty drinking glass, the material fullness and almost-
too-much of the full wine bottle, and the in-betweenness—part repeated line, part
color—of the half-full carafe.
This still life also uses its vessels to explore the degrees of transparency pos-
sible in the medium of watercolor, ignoring the opaque end of that spectrum that
Still Life with Blue Pot shows to be a possibility of the water-suspended pigment,
when layer upon layer of the same color is laid down with a saturated brush. Indeed,
where all of the Getty watercolor's vessels are opaque, none of the three vessels in
Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit is: where the former stresses the different
kinds of solid materiality—those of metal, porcelain, and enamel, not to mention
linen, tapestry, and apple—that can be yielded by the combination of pigment and
paper, the latter focuses the eye not only on the liquidity of the solution that makes
the medium but also on the property that makes it like glass—namely, that of light
passing through its substance to refract into colored rays, so that color appears as
light rather than matter. Thus the colored bottle of wine, with its colored liquid with-
in, sitting between the two colorless, transparent crafts, the cruet and the goblet,
points directly to the mysterious, strangely disembodied materiality of the medium
—to its suspension of color in liquid and its translucency (light passing through) —
as well as to the way color as such hovers indeterminately between its status as a
chemical property of mineral matter and its status as a changeable property of light
itself. (Hence the philosophical doubts and metaphysical worries about color in the
Western tradition—the feeling that it has no essence and takes no secure or decisive
form—not to mention the alchemical history and modern mysticism of color. Hence
color's traditional relegation to secondary, supplemental status and its frequent char-
acterization as "feminine.")
Anyone who has seen colored glass being blown—watched it transform from
a hot, almost liquid, unformed glob of matter with mineral particles suspended in it
into a hard but insubstantial, fragile shape that evanescently catches the light and
passes from nothingness to brilliance and back again in a play of utter fascination—
has seen the undecidability of color for themselves and therefore might understand
quite immediately how Cezanne's glassware speaks directly of watercolor, the color
in watercolor, and color per se: couleur (as in pigment) and colons (as in color effect).
Perhaps such a person may appreciate as well how delicately Cezanne maneuvered
between color as material and line as gesture—the glass coming into being through

breath rather than the final, crystallized form of it—and how he sought to have
each—color and line, line and color—continually exchange places with the other.
As with Still Life with Blue Pot, so with Still Life with Carafe/Bottle, and Fruit:
the white ground of the sheet of drawing paper remains visible and is used to repre-
sent both itself, the support surface, and the object surfaces within the still-life
arrangement. Here it is the paper label of the bottle that the white of the paper sheet
represents: which is to say, the uppermost surface is represented by the undermost
surface—paper glued on top of the glass of the bottle is represented by the paper
underneath the whole arrangement. At the same time, the white of the paper sur-
rounds and frames the arrangement, constitutes its literal materiality, and interacts
with pencil and watercolor to produce its subject, which is at once the still-life
objects and the process of representing them, at once the volumes and "culminating
points" of bottles and fruit and the site of transformation of paper into glass, water
into wine, graphite and pigment into vessel and flesh. In this sense as well Still Life
with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit addresses the process and materials of its medium. In
this sense as well it shares its attitude toward drawing and watercoloring with the
Getty still life while standing at the other end of the range of coverage and comple-
tion found overall in Cezanne's late watercolor work.
Whereas Still Life with Blue Pot is so unusual in its covering of almost all of
the sheet of paper with watercolor and its buildup of pigment at the center so that
most of its pencil is finally under cover of color, Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and
Fruit allows its paper and its pencil to show through and through, everywhere, again
with the exception of the wine bottle at the center, so that no matter which techni-
cally came first and last, the line of graphite or the touch of color, each is seen to
interact with the other as circularly as the curving strokes that grope toward the con-
tours of the apples at the right over and over again. Up close, and even under the
microscope, it is impossible to tell whether the gray sparkle of graphite dust sits atop
the watery stain of color that has sunk into the weave of the paper because it was
laid down last, or only because its dry materiality and method of application allow it
to float to the top. No matter, Cezanne made sure to leave both visible, so that he and
we could see the dialogue between them for ourselves.
The same dialogue takes place in Still Life with Blue Pot, except that for once
Cezanne chose to work his composition in the manner of a grand old oil painting,
going over it laboriously until it had, if not the method, then the look, when he stood
back (as do we), of a finished masterpiece. But it was a masterpiece, a still life with
the breadth and grandeur of a monumental landscape, that inverted the old relation-
ship between its opening lines and its final glazes, for it began with its most trans-
parent washes and ended with its most opaque blue lines, going over the tangled
pencil submerged beneath, now all but invisible except here and there, where a
thread of graphite emerges, like the end of a skein of yarn left dangling to be picked
up and followed into the heart of the maze. For all of its air of finish, then, Still Life
with Blue Pot is all of a piece with Cezanne's late still-life work in watercolor, such as
Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit, in which the studio was repeatedly the site of

a fundamental rethinking of the structure of artistic work and pictorial thought, and
of the relationship between drawing and painting, dessin and colons.
That site was an experimental space, in which objects could be counted on to
stay still, could be arranged and rearranged at will, could recapitulate the atelier of
old that the Impressionists had rejected and make it over into a new kind of work-
ing room, could safely evoke more intimate human spaces and relations while at the
same time setting them quite literally aside. And it was also a control on the experi-
ment that took place outdoors, a place of refuge, greater ease, and homely familiar-
ity, in which Promethean struggle could be made over into more modest play, a
grand mission into a more subtle project, and in which the severe and pompous bur-
den of posterity could be traded in, for a while, for the repeated now of the gesture
of rendering intertwined with the ongoingness of the act of seeing, the haptics of
drawing locked in an embrace with the optics of color, and vice versa. It was some-
thing like an artisanal space remade, in which the making and grouping of the sim-
plest of Provencal objects could be over and over again analogized to the intertwined
processes of drawing and painting, and vice versa. It was a space in which to learn,
and learn again, how to draw lines and how to touch paint to paper, and in which
order. And now it is a space, on paper, into which we as viewers are invited, and
invited to learn, as never before or since.
1. Emile Bernard's inventory of Cezanne's (oil) 3. There is actually some very faint watercolor
palette, in Souvenirs sur Paul Cezanne, et lettres wash in the upper-left corner of Still Life with
(Paris: R. G. Michel, 1925), 46, on the occasion Blue Pot, so there is less bare paper than apparent
of the two of them painting a still life together that at first glance.
Cezanne had arranged in a downstairs room of
his Les Lauves studio: "Les Jaunes. / Jaime brillant.— 4. See Yve-Alain Bois, "Matisse and 'Arche-
Jaune de Naples.— Jaime de chrome.— Ocre jaune.— Drawing,'" in Painting as Model (Cambridge and
Terre de Sienne naturelle. / Les Rouges / Vermilion. London: MIT Press, 1990), 36-38: Gauguin attrib-
—Ocre rouge.—Terre de Sienne brulee.—Laque uted this remark to Cezanne, but Edmond Duranty
de garance.—Laque carminee fine.—Laque brulee. / also put these words in the mouth of the main
Les Verts. / Vert Veronese.—Vert emeraude.— character in his 1867 story "Le Peintre Marsabiel."
Terre verte. / Les Bleus. / Bleu de cobalt.— Bleu Vollard tells the story as a visit by Duranty to
d'outremer.—Bleu de prusse.— Noir de peche." Cezanne's studio, which became disguised as that
of painter "Maillobert," who remarked "qu'un kilo-
2. On Cezanne's pigments and paper, see Faith gramme de vert etait plus vert qu'un gramme
Zieske, "Technical Observations," in Cezanne in de la meme couleur" (Ambroise Vollard, En ecoutant
Focus: Watercolors from the Henry and Rose Cezanne, Degas, Renoir [Paris: Bernard Grasset,
Pearlmari Collection, ed. Laura M. Giles and Carol 1938], 33)-
Armstrong (Princeton: Princeton University Art
Museum, 2002), 27-29; and Zieske, "Paul Cezanne's 5. See Charles Baudelaire, "Salon de 1846: III: De
Watercolors: His Choice of Pigments and Papers," la couleur" and "Le peintre de la vie moderne" (Le
in The Broad Spectrum: Studies in the Materials, Figaro, November 26 and 29, and December 3, 1863),
Techniques, and Conservation of Color on Paper, ed. in Curiosites esthetiques, L'Art romantique et autres
Harriet K. Stratis and Brit Slavesen (London: oeuvres critiques de Baudelaire, ed. Henri Lemaitre
Archetype, 2002), 89-100. (Paris: Gamier, 1962), 107-12, 360-404 (esp.

365-72; 394~97)- Cezanne himself clearly read 10. One watercolor with a balcony, depicting roofs
Baudelaire's writing and expressed his admiration seen through an open window, probably in Aix,
for it: see letters to his son of September 13 is found on the verso of the Pearlman Trees Forming
and 28, 1906, in Paul Cezanne, Correspondance an Arch of 1904-5; another one, titled The Balcony
recueillie, annotee et prefacee par John Rewald and dated c. 1900, is located in the Philadelphia
(Paris: B. Grasset, 1978), 326, 329. Museum of Art. See Giles and Armstrong, Cezanne
in Focus, 117-20.
6. John Rewald, Paul Cezanne: The Watercolors:
A Catalogue Raisonne (Boston: Little, Brown, 1983), 11. See Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenologie de
233, fig. 572, believed that there was no pencil work la perception (Paris: Gallimard, 1945), esp. 3Ooff.;
in the Getty watercolor. (This was the reason he gave and the title essay of Merleau-Ponty, L'Oeil et I'esprit
for seeing the Michigan version, in which he saw (Paris: Gallimard, 1964). See Jonathan Crary, "1900:
the pencil work, as a preliminary effort, and the Still Reinventing Synthesis," in Suspensions of Percep-
Life with Blue Pot as the final painting.) Although he tion: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture
tended to agree with Rewald's proposed sequencing (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999), 280-359, for a view
of the Michigan and Getty drawings, George Goldner, of Cezanne that is critical of the phenomenological
under whose tenure as drawings curator the J. Paul perspective while also putting it in the historical
Getty Museum acquired the watercolor, understood context of the vitalist movement of the turn of the
Rewald's assumption about the lack of pencil to be century and the work of Henri Bergson, Edmund
wrong (George R. Goldner, with the assistance of Lee Husserl, and others.
Hendrix and Gloria Williams, European Drawings i:
Catalogue of the Collections [Malibu, Calif.: J. Paul 12. For some of the best new thinking on the art of
Getty Museum, 1988], 150). As Goldner saw, pencil drawing, see Catherine de Zegher and Avis Newman,
marks are immediately available to the eye, which The Stage of Drawing: Gesture and Act: Selected
suggests that there are quite a few more to be found from the Tate Collection (New York: Tate Publishing
underneath the layers of watercolor. Microscopic and the Drawing Center, 2003).
examination and infrared photography confirm this
hunch, leading one to see much more pencil with 13. "Des qualites definies ne se dessinent dans
the naked eye than the first impression suggests. la masse confuse des impressions que si elle
est mise en perspective et coordonnee par 1'espace"
7. In addition to being one of three watercolors (Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 251
shown in the 1877 Impressionist exhibition, this [emphasis added]).
gouache was bought by one of Cezanne's earliest
patrons, Victor Chocquet. 14. "Le son et la couleur ... dessinent un objet,
le cendrier, le violon" (ibid., 263 [emphasis added]).
8. On the importance of Delacroix to Cezanne,
see Vollard, En ecoutant Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, 15. "Si je fais passer rapidement un crayon devant
62-63, which he recounts Cezanne's admiration une feuille de papier ou j'ai marque un point de
for a watercolor of flowers by Delacroix (1849) on repere, je n'ai a aucun moment conscience que le
sale at Victor Chocquet's in the 18905. See also Gotz crayon se trouve au-dessus du point de repere, je ne
Adriani, Cezanne Watercolors, trans. Russell M. vois aucune des positions intermediaires et cepen-
Stockman (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1983), 28ff. dant j'ai 1'experience du mouvement. Recriproque-
ment si je ralentis le mouvement et que je parvienne
9. Both of these works are in the Pearlman a ne pas perdre de vu le crayon, a ce moment meme
collection, on long-term loan to Princeton. They are 1'impression de mouvement disparait. Le mouve-
excellent examples of earlier and later drawing ment disparait au moment meme ou il est le plus
and watercolor technique that I had many opportu- conforme a la definition qu'en donne la pensee
nities to study up close when Laura Giles, a team of objective. Ainsi on peut obtenir des phenomenes
graduate students, and I were working on the 2002 ou le mobile n'apparait que pris dans le mouvement.
exhibition Cezanne in Focus. They provided an Se mouvoir n'est pas pour lui passer tour a tour
excellent occasion for microscopic examination as par une serie indefinie de positions, il n'est donne
well, which revealed just how much interplay there que commen^ant, poursuivant ou achevant son
was between pencil and watercolor, and how often mouvement" (ibid., 312).
pencil lay on top of watercolor as well as watercolor
on top of pencil. This was my hunch, from having 16. See James Elkins, What Painting Is (New York
seen them with the unaided eye, and it was borne out. and London: Routledge, 1999), on the alchemical his-
tory of color in oil painting.

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors - Page 151

Jinishing Touches
0n the side of the octagonal pitcher, toward the left, and the patch just to
pitcher, where the handle begins the right of the blue pot; and in a paler, more
its arc off the vessel's body, there lies a stroke washed and transparent version of the color,
of green that strays onto the inner part in the patch of green left of the base of
of the handle (opposite). It is likely that that the pitcher and on the side of the white pot.
one long, tapering patch of emerald green That strip of green on the pitcher's
was among those marks that came last, that handle complements the reds of the tapestry
were added as finishing touches in order to and the apples that lie around the pitcher—
satisfy Cezanne, somehow, that he was done, like the bit of washed red that has escaped
that he could stop, that he should add no the leftmost apple to curve onto the pitcher's
more. It is nothing like the top and final layer base as a piece of colored shadow. It punctu-
of a traditional picture, either as it was taught ates the preponderance of blues everywhere
at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts or as it was prac- in the still life, congregating around the
ticed by other "new"painters, such as Monet pitcher, loaded thickly and opaquely into the
or Degas. There a glaze, a bit of local color, long ellipse of interstitial space opened up by
or a unifying layer of oil or pastel would the pitcher's handle, particularly in the lower
complete, cover, or even out what had begun curve, which it appears to fill up like liquid,
as an idea first sketched in pencil or painted or like a bit of blue flame whose tapering
in roughly to establish the composition's shape resembles that of the green patch. It
main lines. Here, instead, it is a long scrap marks the white of the pitcher in a manner
of color that picks up the bits of green found that clearly has nothing to do with the briefly
elsewhere, under and over other colors— indicated faint blue design upon its surface.
in the tapestry, particularly the patch that It lies atop several veils of blue and rose,
encroaches upon the pointed lip of the a bit of opacity on top of their transparency

Figure 45 >
St/7/ Life with Blue Pot (pl.i)
with blues separated out
thickening into translucency, instead of the drawing made of color on top of color upon emphasis and confirmation, an accidental bit
reverse. It signposts the stain of rose that color, on top of drawing made of graphite. of color falls, a row of spots of pigments
spreads onto the upper arc of the handle and But he did understand the importance of wonderfully arranged and as sure in their
the faint, crisscrossing lines of graphite blue—it provided the keynote and, in this touch as if they were reflecting a melody."
that emerge from beneath it and trail onto particular watercolor, the central blue object. Perhaps that green touch on the white pitcher
the downward trend of the outer part of the Denis also saw that these "sketches" were in Still Life with Blue Pot was one of those
handle. And it competes with the thick "pictures"—none more so than this one— final "accidental bit[s] of color" that became
black line that Cezanne applied, also toward and like others he felt that there was some- an "emphasis" and a "confirmation."
the end, to reinforce the inner contour thing ceramic (and Provencal) about them— Others, such as Robert Delaunay, saw
of the opening made by the pitcher's handle. again, none more than Still Life with Blue the "colored planes" of the watercolors as
Cezanne could have stopped before adding Pot, with its overall Provencal palette and its the "precursor... of Cubism." But though all
that touch of green, but he did not. He could porcelain pitcher, made of white paper, those that loved the watercolors clearly took
have added further touches of green here blue marks, hints of rose, touch of green, and them seriously, perhaps more seriously than
and there after the one that drifts from the reinforcing black and blue. Cezanne himself intended them, they tended
body to the handle of the pitcher, but he Andre Fontainas, for one, spoke of the to emphasize, not their avant-gardism, but
didn't. He stopped just there; he must have effect of "paintedporcelain"produced by the their delicacy, their airy insubstantiality, their
felt that it was just right, or as close to it as watercolors. He too spoke of the overlay play with process. Indeed, it was Cezanne's
he was going to get. of colors: "The master amuses himself. But his young admirer Emile Bernard, most imme-
Inspired by Cezanne filtered through diversions are wondrous marvels and beauti- diately responsible for crafting Cezanne's
Chard in, Rilke remarked that he wanted fully instructive. They make play with bold mythic status as the old man of modernism,
l who described his watercolor process, having
to write a "history of blue. " And others re- blues, pure whites, clear yellows ... and
marked on the blue drawing that is found they sometimes give the illusion of painted seen him execute a landscape in the medium:
everywhere in the composition, reinforcing porcelain, of delicate, iridescent opals. "His method was remarkable, totally different
the contours of the objects at the center, Others, with only a few touches of color, are from traditional procedures and extremely
overlaying their underlying graphite with admirable drawings. " Pointing to the oscil- complicated. He began with a single patch,
Prussian blue, as if to bring the underdrawing lation between drawing and color, the bare which he then overlapped with a second, and
to the surface (fig. 45). When he saw the minimum and the spectacular deployment of a third, until these patches, which produced
show atAmbroise Vollard's gallery in 1905, brilliant primary colors, with "bold blues" screens, modeled the object by means of
Maurice Denis remarked that the watercolors leading the way, Fontainas obviously delighted color."7According to Bernard, Cezanne
were "built out of vibrant contrasts on pre- in the lightness of the watercolors and never- began with "a patch": did he also end with a
paratory washes of Prussian blue; the defin- theless took them seriously; he found them patch—of a different color than the one with
itive color of these sketches, as composed "instructive." In 7907 Rilke loved the lightness which he began? It seems likely—though
and constructed as pictures, has been raised of the watercolors too; he wrote in a letter where the graphite drawing fits in is uncer-
to a powerful and admirable resonance. One that he had seen the show at Bernheim-Jeune tain in this account. And what significance a
would have said they were ancient faiences." and had found the watercolors "extremely green had in relation to all the blue—this
Denis might have added that the blue also lay beautiful. They are just as assured as the time a milligram instead of a kilo of green—
over both the "preparatory washes" and the paintings, and as insubstantial as the paint- well, that is for us to determine.
"vibrant contrasts" as a finalizing, reinforcing ings are solid.... Very faint pencil outlines, This watercolor, of course, is a still life,
armature, a kind of bright exoskeleton, upon which only here and there, almost as not a landscape, and so its air of "faience"
i 8

is germane to its objects as well as its effects. where finalize the composition and relieve combination of "feminine"'slimness and
Its objects sit still; its process is that of the the blue that so dominates the arrangement recessiveness and "masculine"rectilinearity,
studio, not the open air; its pictoriality is in its perfect conflation of drawing and color, and its effort to stand up to the fat blue
immense and grand, in spite of its low gen re; its inversion o/dessin into coloris, color into swagger of the blue pot, to side with and
and its evocation of landscape has to do with design. It points as well to the interest of come closer to the hesitation of the teetering
its rich, bright colorism and expansive, bodily interstitial spaces for Cezanne—the interest, little white pot, with its genetic mixture
spatiality. That touch of green punctuates for instance, of that handle that could be of pitcher and pot, white and blue, recession
all of that. It also punctuates the process of gripped by a hand, fingertips curling through and projection. Finally, it terminates. Not
watercoloring, both for the painter himself its opening, just as the painter's hand drew, a culminating point—the pitcher appears to
and for all the viewers who come after. It redrew, painted, and repainted its inner and have none—that green mark is a point of
points to the overlay of colors and graphite outer contours, like a potter shaping his pot. culmination. It puts a green period to Still Life
that makes up each object in the watercolor. And it highlights the white pitcher's struggle with Blue Pot. Full stop.
It points to the bits of red and black that else- to emerge from white paper, its sidelined

1. "(On pourrait imaginer que quelqu'un ecrivit 3. Andre Fontainas, "Les Aquarelles de Cezanne,"
une histoire du bleu; depuis le bleu dense, cireux, Mercure de France 16 (July i, 1905): 133-34, cited in
des peintures pompeiennes, jusqu'a Chardin, jusqu'a Simms, "Painting on Drawing," 23-24.
Cezanne: quelle biographic!) La est en effet 1'origine
du bleu tres particulier de Cezanne" (Rainer Maria 4. Rainer Maria Rilke, Briefe uber Cezanne, ed.
Rilke, Lettres sur Cezanne, trans. Philippe Jacottet Clara Rilke (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1977), 97, cited in
[Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1991], 37). Such a "history" Gotz Adriani, Cezanne Watercolors, trans. Russell
has since been written; see Michel Pastoureau, M. Stockman (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1983), 21.
Blue: The History of a Color (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 2001). 5. Robert Delaunay, The New Art of Color: The
Writings of Robert and Sonia Delaunay, ed. Arthur
2. Maurice Denis, "La Peinture," L'Hermitage, A. Cohen, trans. David Shapiro and Arthur A. Cohen
November 15, 1905, 314; cited in Matthew Simms, (New York: Viking, 1978), 20; cited in Adriani,
"Painting on Drawing: Cezanne's Watercolors," in Cezanne Watercolors, 21.
Cezanne in Focus: Watercolors from the Henry and
Rose Pearlman Collection, ed. Laura M. Giles and 6. Cezanne apparently left his watercolors lying
Carol Armstrong (Princeton: Princeton University around on the floor of his studio and outside,
Art Museum, 2002), 14. Simms's essay is remarkable "sur le motif"; he gave them away as careless gifts;
in its attention to process and medium, aspects of and he threw them into the fire in fits of temper.
Cezanne's work that we have discussed together. We He also did this with his oils, however, including a
part company in our understanding of the relation- still life that he is said to have thrown into a cherry
ship between drawing and color in Cezanne's water- tree in another rage. See Ambroise Vollard, En
colors—he understands them as two separate layers, ecoutant Cezanne, Degas, Renoir (Paris: Bernard
with drawing always underlying color as it does in Grasset, 1938), 47, 77, cited in Adriani, Cezanne
the Western pictorial tradition; I see it quite other- Watercolors, 71.
wise, as I have argued in this monograph. Moreover,
his phenomenological emphasis is on perceptual 7. Emile Bernard, "Souvenirs sur Paul Cezanne"
process, whereas it is my view that what is so (1907), in Propos sur I'art, vol. i, ed. Anne Riviere
remarkable about Cezanne's watercolors, in partic- (Paris: Seguier, 1994), 137, cited in Simms, "Painting
ular, is their dramatization of the manual process on Drawing," 14.
of making, or rather the eye-hand relay of the thor-
oughly interwoven acts of drawing and painting.

Keys to Details
Key to details 1-6

Key to details 7-13

Key to details 14-29

Note: Page numbers in italics Baudelaire, Charles, 115 Cezanne, Marie, 18 Courbet, Gustave, 12, 4211.12, 53, 57
indicate illustrations. Bed and Table (Cezanne), 28, 29 Cezanne, Paul Still Life with Apples, 57, 57
Bedpost and Chair Back (Cezanne), in Aix-en-Provence, 17-18, 20-21 Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery
2 death of, 22 (London), 38, 85, 86, 87, 99n.8
22-23, 5
Academic Suisse (Paris), 19 Belvedere Museum (Vienna), 92 education of, 17, 19 croquis, 78-79
Aix-en-Provence Bernard, Emile marriage of, 20-24 Cubism
Cezanne in, 17-18, 20-21 admiration for Cezanne, 4 in Paris, 17-18, 19, 20 Bathers and, 2, 6n.3
Cezanne on life in, 18 inventory of colors by, 101, 134^1 son of, 20-24 Cezanne's interest in geometry
in still lifes vs. landscapes, 18 on revision of Poussin, yin.5 youth of, 17-18 and, 55-56
anthropomorphism on watercolor process, 138 Cezanne, Paul (son) Cupid. See plaster cast; Plaster Cupid
in The Green Pot, 33 Bernheim-Jeune, exhibition at paintings and drawings of, Curtains (Cezanne), 31, 32
of landscapes, 67 (1907), 6n.4, 138 22-28, 23, 24, 26, 27
of object relations, 11 Bertin, Jean- Victor, 50 relationship with, 20-24
skulls and, 65-6.7 Blanc, Charles, 99n.4 Cezanne, Rose Honorine, 18 Dallas Museum of Art, 93
apples, 51-53 blue (color), in Still Life with Blue chair, in Still Life with Apples and Decanter and Bowl (Cezanne), 79, 80
sexuality of, 3, 35 Pot, 138, 139 Chair Back, 38, 40 "deformations"
in Still Life with Apples blue cup, in Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Chardin, Jean-Simeon of Still Life with Blue Pot, 4
(Cezanne), 51, 52 Pears, and Blue Cup, 12-13 influence of, 53-55, 57-62 of Still Life with Compotier, 14
in Still Life with Apples blue pot Still Life with Peaches, a Silver Degas, Edgar, 19, 64, 94
(Courbet), 57 in Still Life with Apples on a Goblet, Grapes, and Walnuts, Delacroix, Eugene, 123, i35n.8
in Still Life with Apples and Sideboard, 92 53, 54, 54 Delaunay, Robert, 138
Oranges, 51-52 in Still Life with Blue Pot, 9, 106, Chemin des Lauves: The Turn in the Demoiselles d'Avignon (Picasso), 2,
in Still Life with Blue Pot, 9, 107, 120, 121 Road (Cezanne), 48, 49 6n.3
6 in Still Life with Milk Pot, Melon, Chocquet, Victor, 19, 124, 13511.7 Denis, Maurice
45-47; 4 > 47' 5°, 53, 106, 107,
120, 220 and Sugar Bowl, 11 Claude Lorrain, 50 admiration for Cezanne, 4
in Still Life with Compotier, 14 bodegone tradition, 95, 96 Coburn Memorial Collection on Chardin (Jean-Simeon), 72n.8
in Still Life with Plaster Cast, Bottles, Pot, Alcohol Stove, and (Chicago), 66 on colors, 17, 138
60, 62 Apples (Cezanne), 37, 37, 94 color Homage to Cezanne, 2, 2, 13
Apples, Bottle, and Glass (Cezanne), Boudin, Eugene, 53 vs. design, hierarchy of, 78 on revision of Poussin, 7111.5
79-81, 83 Braque, Georges, 2, 56, 64 femininity linked to, 78, 99n.4, design, vs. color, hierarchy of, 78
Apples, Carafe, and Sugar Bowl British Museum (London), 86 132 The Dessert (Cezanne), 39, 40
(Cezanne), 92, 92 Bryson, Norman, 7in.2 inventory of Cezanne's, 101, Diebenkorn, Richard, 48
Apples and Pears (Cezanne), 134-n.i drawing
79-81, 82 kinesthetic properties of, 130-31 act of, captured in Still Life
Apples on a Plate (Cezanne), 84, 85 Cafe Guerbois (Paris), 19 line and, inversion of, 113-15, with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit,
Art Institute of Chicago, 66 Caillebotte, Gustave, 58-59, 69 2 1 1 1
i3 -33 128-29, 3°' 3
The Artist's Father (Cezanne), 12, Still Life with Glasses, Carafes, opaque vs. translucent, 131-32 masculinity linked to, 78, 99n.4
13, 4in.i and Compotiers of Fruit, 58, 58 in Still Life with Blue Pot, painting and, physical nature of,
The Artist's Son Asleep (Cezanne), Calla Lily and Greenhouse Plants 113-20, 137-39 129-30
2 (Renoir), 70 colons, 99n.4, 132 Duranty, Edmond, 73n.2o, 13411.4
22-23, &
carafe, in Still Life with Carafe, composition, of etudes, increasing
Bottle, and Fruit, 127, 128, 129, complexity of, 79-81
balconies, 128, 13511.10 130, 131, 132 compotier, in Still Life with ebauches, 78-79
The Balcony (Cezanne), Carafe and Knife (Cezanne), 28, 29 Compotier, 14 Cezanne's, 88-92
Banquet (Cezanne), 4311.22 Cezanne, Anne Elizabeth Honorine concetti, 79 in classical academic system, 78
basket, picnic, in Still Life with Aubert, 17, 20, 21 Constantin, J. B., 4111.1 definition of, 79
Basket, 14 Cezanne, Emelie Hortense Fiquet cooking, scenes of, 55, 58 landscapes as, 79, 9911.8
Bathers paintings and drawings of, 21, Corot, Jean-Baptiste-Camille, 50 Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Paris),
as ebauches vs. tableaux, 88-89 2 couillarde manner, 12, 4in.2 4211.11, 64
8-33, 3°> 67
from imagination vs. model, 88 relationship with, 20-24, 42n.i7 couleur, 99n.4, 132 Ecole Gratuite de Dessin (Aix-en-
influence on modernism, 2, 6n.3 Cezanne, Louis-Auguste, 17, 18, 20 Provence), 17, 19

Emperaire, Achilla, 19 Fondation Beyeler (Riehen/ in Still Life with Blue Pot, 4, 109 Les Lauves studio
esquisses, 78-79 Basel), 36 in Still Life with Compotier, 14 construction of, 21
Cezanne's, 85-88 Fontainas, Andre, 138 haptic space, 72-7311.14 development of technique at,
in classical academic system, 78 Ford House (Grosse Pointe Shores), 10 Head and Hand of the Artist's Son 122-23
definition of, 79 Forest Path (Cezanne), 123, 123 Asleep (Cezanne), 22-23, 27 exterior of, 21
before and after tableau, 85-88 Frankenthaler, Helen, 48 Head of a Child and Hand as home to Cezanne, 21-22
L'Estaque, 20 fruit. See specific types (Cezanne), 22-23, 24 inheritance of, 22
Eternal Feminine (Cezanne) (oil), Fry, Roger Homage to Cezanne (Denis), 2, 2, 13 interior of, 11
88 88 monograph by, 2 home, tied to studio space, 15-16 inventory of objects in, 11
Eternal Feminine (Cezanne) on still life, 2-3, 65 horizon lines, in Still Life with Blue purchase of, 2 1
(watercolor), 88, 88 on Still Life with Compotier, 2, Pot, 48, 109, 109-12, 112 skulls displayed in, 65
etudes, 78-85 13,14,56 Hortensia (Cezanne), 67, 68 line, color and
Cezanne's, 79-85 hydrangea, 28-33, 3°> 67 inversion of, 113-15, 132-33
in classical academic system, 78 in Still Life with Blue Pot, 113-15
composition of, increasing Gallatin Collection (Philadelphia), 29 linen. See tapestry; white linen
complexity of, 79-81 gardening paintings, 67-71 Impressionism, Cezanne's relation Louvre (Paris), See Musee du
definition of, 78 Gasquet, Henri to, 78 Louvre (Paris)
elevation of, 78-79 in Aix-en-Provence, 17, 18 Impressionist exhibitions
as tableaux, 79, 98 Cezanne's friendship with, 17 of 1874, !9
exhibitions, 19, 42n.n on Chardin (Jean-Simeon), 72n.8 of 1877, 6n.4, 19, 124, i35n.7 Madame Cezanne with Hortensias
etudes at, 78, 79 on revision of Poussin, 7in.5 (Cezanne), 28-33, 30
Impressionist, 6n.4, 19, 124, 135^7 genres Manet, Edouard
at Salon d'Automne, 19 classical divisions between, 64-65 J. Paul Getty Museum, xii, 16,54, Cezanne's visits with, 19
at Vollard's gallery, 4, 6n.4, 19 ideation vs. coloration required 63, 88, 90 Chardin's influence on, 53
watercolors in, 4, 6n.4, 19 for, 78 Jacket on a Chair (Cezanne), 32-35, influence on Cezanne, 12, 57-58
eye, paintings appealing to, 56 geometry, 55-56 34,79 Two Apples, 57, 57
eye-hand coordination, 56 geraniums, 67, 69 Jas de Bouffan property, 18, 20, 21 and variations on theme, 95, 96
in viewing Still Life with Blue Geraniums (Cezanne), 67, 69 fourdain, Francis, 7111.5 watercolors of, 57-58
Pot, 103 gestural changes, in series vs. manual space, 56
variations, 94 marriage, 20-24
gesturalism, 129 Kalf, Willem, Still Life with Ewer, masculinity, drawing linked to, 78,
family Getty Museum. See }. Paul Getty Vessels, and Pomegranate, 53, 54 99n.4
paintings and drawings of, Museum kitchen tables, 35-37 The Masterpiece (Zola), 4, 20, 42^15
22-33 Ginger Jar with Fruit on a Table in Bottles, Pot, Alcohol Stove, and Matisse, Henri, 5
represented in Still Life with (Cezanne), 90, 90-91 Apples, 37 Mellon Collection (Washington,
Blue Pot, 11, 31 Ginger Pot with Pomegranate and in Still Life with Apples, Pears, B.C.), 13, 57, 6
fantasy pictures, 88, 99n.7 Pears (Cezanne), 91, 91 and a Pot, 35 melon. See also Watermelon
Fantin-Latour, Henri Gogh, Vincent van, 21 kitchens, 35-37 in Still Life with Milk Pot, Melon,
Chardin's influence on, 53 Goldner, George, i35n.6 knife, in Still Life with Compotier, and Sugar Bowl, 9
flowers painted by, 59-60, 123 Goteborgs Konstmuseum, 55? 14,56 Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 4311.17,
influence on Cezanne, 59-62 Cowing, Lawrence, 4 Krugier-Poniatowski Collection, 89 129, 130-31
opinion of Cezanne's work, 73n.i6 Granet, Francois Marius, 4in.i Michallon, Achille-Etna, 50
Still Life with Torso and Flowers, Graphische Sammlung (Vienna), 23 Michelangelo, 15
59,60 The Green Pot (Cezanne), 31-32, 33, landscape(s) A Modern Olympia (Cezanne), 19, 57
and variations on theme, 95, 96 79 as ebauches, 79, 99n.8 Monet, Claude
femininity, color linked to, 78, Greenberg, Clement, 62 as etudes, 78-79 on Cezanne, 19
99n.4, 132 horizon lines in, 48 gardening paintings of, 67, 69
Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge), perspective in, 50 and genre divisions, 64
51,81 hands of Still Life with Blue Pot, 45-50, passivity in works of, 99n.5
flowers paintings appealing to, 14, 56 53,64 series by, 94
by Cezanne, 67, 123 in viewing Still Life with Blue as still lifes, 67-71 Mont Sainte-Victoire (Cezanne), 48,
by Fantin-Latour (Henri), 59-60, Pot, 103 Landscape with the Body of Phocion 49> 79
123 "handwriting," Cezanne's Carried out of Athens (Poussin), Mont Sainte-Victoire with Large
flute glass, in The Dessert, 39, 40 Aix-en-Provence in, 18 50,50 Pine (Cezanne), 99n.8
Foliage (Cezanne), 70, 70-71, 79 Provence in, 17 language play, 28, 43n.2O Morelli, Giovanni, 7n.7

Musee d'Orsay (Paris), 2, 15, 52, 83 pears self-portrait by, 6 1 manual, 56
Musee du Louvre (Paris), 32, 33, in Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears, Provence in Still Life with Blue Pot, 65
35>9<> and Blue Cup, 12-13 in Still Life with Apples, 17 in Still Life with Compotier, 14
Musee Granet (Aix-en-Provence), in Still Life with Apples, Pears, in Still Life with Blue Pot, 138 of studio and home, linkage
12, 4in.i and a Pot, 35 Puget, Pierre, 14 between, 15-16
Museum Boijmans (Rotterdam), 84 in Three Pears, 125 Spelling Collection, 58
Museum Mesdag (Hague), 57 pencil marks still life(s)
Museum of Modern Art (New development of technique using, Reinhart Collection (Winterthur, Aix-en-Provence in, 18
York), 3, 70 122-29 Switzerland), 70 Fry (Roger) on, 2-3, 65
expanding functions of, 122-23 Renoir, Pierre-Auguste landscapes as, 67-71
ratio of watercolor to, 85, 127, 128 Calla Lily and Greenhouse Plants, 70 Schapiro (Meyer) on, 3
National Gallery of Art in Still Life with Blue Pot, 104, gardening paintings of, 67, 69 •Still Life: Flowers and Fruit on a
(Washington, B.C.), 13, 57, 69 i22 n and genre divisions, 64 Table (Cezanne), 123-25, 124,
105, 106-7, i°8, H5; > i35 -6
National Museum of Wales in Three Pears, 125, 126, 13511.9 visiting Jas de Bouffan, 20 129, 135^7
(Cardiff), 50 perspective Reves Collection (Dallas), 93 Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears, and
Nouvelle-Athenes (Paris), 19 binary, 61 Rewald, John, 99n.2, i35n.6 Blue Cup (Cezanne), 12, 12-13
nudes Cezanne's transformation of, 61, 62 Rilke, Rainer Maria Chardin's^influence on, 55
classical genre of, 64 in landscapes, 50 on blue (color), 138 vs. Still Life: Flowers and Pruit on
from imagination vs. model, 88 phenomenology, 129-30 on Chardin (Jean-Simeon), 72n.8 a Table, 123, 124
as still lifes, 65 Philadelphia Museum of Art, 22, on sexuality of fruits, 35,36, 43n.2i vs. Still Life with Blue Pot, 13
24-25, 26-27, 28, 29 Rocks at Bibemus (Cezanne), 123, 123 Still Life with a Black Clock
Phillips Collection (Washington, Rousseau, Philippe, 53 (Cezanne), 43n.2i
oil D.C.), 91, 99n.8 Still Life with Apples, Pears, and a
influence of watercolor work on, Picasso, Pablo , Pot (Cezanne), 35
99n-3 Cezanne's Bathers and, 2 Salon d'Automne (Paris), exhibitions Still Life with Apples (Cezanne)
vs. watercolor, 1-2 Demoiselles d'Avignon, 2, 6n.3 at, 19 /(c, 1877-78), 51, 51-53, 56
watercolor ebauches for, 88-92 genre divisions of, 64 Salons, Cezanne's submissions to, Still Life with Apples (Cezanne)
onions, 4in.4 picnic basket, in Still Life with 19, 42n.n l
(1893-94), &> 16-17, 56
in Still Life with Plaster Cast, 14, Basket, 14 Schapiro, Meyer, 3, 4, 35 Still Life, with Apples (Courbet), 57, 57
15, 60, 62 Pierpont Morgan Library (New schizophrenia, 21, 42n. 17 Still Life with Apples and Chair
optical changes, in series vs. York), 87, 95 sculpture, competition with Back (Cezanne), 38, 40, 94
variations, 94 Piles, Roger de, 99n.4 painting, 60 Still Life with Apples and Oranges
oranges, in Still Life with Apples Pissarro, Camille, 19, 79, 9911,7 Seated Woman (Madame Cezanne) (Cezanne), 51-53, 52
and Oranges, 51-52 pitcher, in Still Life with Blue Pot, 9, (Cezanne), 89, 90 . Still Life with Apples on a Sideboard
108, 108, 136, 137-39 series, Impressionist, vs. Cezanne's (Cezanne), 92, 93, 94
plants, 67-71 variations, 94 Still Life, with Basket; or, The Kitchen
painting plaster cast, in Still Life with Plaster sexuality Table (Cezanne), 14-16, 15, 56
academic system of, stages in, Cast, 14-15, 60, 62 of couillarde manner, 12, 4in.2 Still Life with Blue Pot (Cezanne), xii
78-79 Plaster Cupid (Cezanne) (c. 1890), of fruit, 3, 35, 36 archaeology of, 103-20
competition with sculpture, 60 85,^6,87,88 in still lifes, 3 I1 21
bottom of, 112-13, 3> 4
drawing and, physical nature of, Plaster Cupid (Cezanne) (c. 1900- Shaw, Jennifer L, 99^4 center of, ..103-5
129-30 1904), 85, 87 Simms, Matthew, i4on.2 changes in, 107
paper plein air motif, 79, 88, 89 sketchbook drawings Chardin's influence on, 53-55
in Still Life with Blue Pot, 103, Plymouth, Earl of, 50 mixed genres in, 64 color in, 113-20, 137-39
103-4 pomegranates, 53, 7211.7 of son, 22-28, 23, 24, 26, 27 composition of, 76
in Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, pot. See also blue pot; white pot of wife, 28-33, 30 computer-enhanced infrared
and Fruit, 133 in Still Life with Apples, Pears, Sketchbook Page with Two Studies digital capture of, 102, 104
in Three Pears, 125, 126 and a Pot, 35 of Paul Cezanne (Son), a Female details of, 11, 46, 47, 48, 49, 103-21
Paris in Still Life with Cut Watermelon, Half-Figure Study, a Bather, keys to, 141-43
Cezanne in, 17-18, 19, 20 35; 36 and a Glass (Cezanne), 22, 23 family imagery in, 11, 31
exhibitions in, 19, 42n.n Poussin, Nicolas, 50, 7in.5 skull, human, 65-67 as finished work, 76
Paysage historique tradition, 50 Cezanne's revision of, 50, 7111.5 in Three Skulls, 65, 66 vs. Foliage, 71
Pearlman Foundation, 49, 123, 126, Landscape with the Body of space genre of, i, 53
127, i3 n. Phocion Carried out of Athens, . in The Dessert, 39, 40 inventory of objects in, i, 6n.i,
5 9
50,50 haptic, 72~73n.i4 9-11 (See also specific objects)

landscape of, 45-50; 53, 64 Still Life with Ewer, Vessels, and Symbolism, Cezanne's relation to, 78 Cezanne's opinion of, 4, 138,
line and color in, 113-15 Pomegranate (Kalf), 53, 54 symmetry, in Still Life with Blue i4on.6
medium of, 1-2 Still Life with Fruit, Carafe, Sugar Pot, 46 as ebauches, 88-92
mistakes (stray marks) in, 104, Bowl, and Bottle (Cezanne), as etudes, 79
105, 105 95-98, 96 in exhibitions, 4, 6n«4, 19
opacity of vessels in, 132 as tableau nonfini, 95-98 tableaux influence on oil work, 99n.3
order of drawing/painting, 104 variations on theme of, 95, 96, 97 in classical academic system, 78 vs. oil, 1-2
. origin of name, i Still Life with Glasses, Carafes, and esquisses before and after, 85-88 ratio of pencil to, 85, 127, 128
paper used in, 103, 103-4 Compotiers of Fruit etudes as, 79, 98 as tableau, 92, 93, 94-98
pencil marks in, 104, 105, 106-7, (Caillebotte), 58, 58 nonfini, 94-98 watermelon
108, 115, 122, 1.3511.6 Still Life with Green Melon Still Life with Blue Pot as, 76 in Still Life with Cut Watermelon,
as picture vs. sketch/study, i, 65, (Cezanne), 95-98, 97 watercolors as, 92, 93, 94-98 35, 36, 95
75;76 as tableau nonfini, 95-98 Tanguy, Pere, 19 in Still Life with Fruit, Carafe,
plate of, xii variations on theme of, 95, 96, 97 tapestry Sugar Bowl, and Bottle, 95-98
preparatory sketches for, lack of, 75 Still Life with Milk Pot, Melon, and in Still Life with Apples and in Still Life with Green Melon,
vs. Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears, Sugar Bowl (Cezanne), 10 Oranges, 51 95-98
and Blue Cup, 13 as companion to Still Life with in Still Life with Blue Pot, 9, 46, variations on theme of, 95-98,
vs. Still Life with Apples, 52-53 Blue Pot, 76 48, 49, 62-64, 76, 112-20, 113,
vs. Still Life with Apples and Still Life with Peaches, a Silver 115, 116, 117, 118, 119 white (color)
Oranges, 52-53 Goblet, Grapes, and Walnuts in Three Skulls, 65 Cezanne on use of, 104, 13411.4
vs. Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, (Chardin), 53, 54, 54 in Young Italian Woman at a in Still Life with Blue Pot, 104
and Fruit, 132, 133 Still Life with Plaster Cast Table, 62-64 white linen
Still Life with Milk Pot, Melon, (Cezanne), 14-16, 85-88, 86 temporal changes, in series vs. in Still Life with Apples and
and Sugar Bowl as companion composition of, 14-15 variations, 94 Oranges, 51
to, 76 expanded space of, 15-16, 56-57 Thaw Collection (New York), 87, 95 in Still Life with Blue Pot, 9, 45,
vs. Still Life with Plaster Cast, 61 vs. Fantin-Latour's Still Life with themes, Cezanne's variations on, 104, 105, 108, 112, 113
as tableau, 76 Torso and Flowers, 60-62 94-98 white pot, in Still Life with Blue
technique used for, 76 graphite drawings before and Three Pears (Cezanne), 125-28, 126 Pot, 9, 45-46, 107, 107-8, 108
vs. Three Skulls, 65 after, 85, 87 paper used in, 125, 126 wine bottle, in Still Life with
top of, 109, 109, 110-11 inventory of objects in, 14-15 pencil marks in, 125, 126, 13511.9 • Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit, 132,
unique nature of, 122 kitchen implied in, 15 Three Skulls (Cezanne), 65, 66 133
vs. Young Italian Woman at a Plaster Cupid after, 85, 87 as ebauche, 90 wordplay, 28, 43n.2O
. Table, 62-64 Plaster Cupid before, 85, 87 oil painting related to, 90, 94
Still Life with Blue Pot and Bottle of studio as context for, 15-16 as tableau, 94
Wine (Cezanne), 92, 95 as tableau, 85 Trees Forming an Arch (Cezanne),. Young Italian Woman at a Table
as incomplete, 92, 97 watercolor studies before and (Cezanne), 62-64, &3
vs. Still Life with Green Melon, 97 after, 14, 85, 87 Two Apples (Manet), 57, 57 Seated Woman (Madame
Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Still Life with Torso and Flowers Cezanne) and, 90
Fruit (Cezanne), 125, 127, 128-34 (Fantin-Latour), 59, 60-62
act of drawing captured in, studio. See also Les Lauves studio Valenciennes, Pierre-Henri de, 50
128-29, 130-31, 131 as experimental space, 133-34 Vase of Flowers (Cezanne), 81, 81-85 Zola, Emile
detail of, 131 kitchen in context of, 37 Vingt, Les, 42n.n in Aix-en-Provence, 17, 18
paper used in, 133 in Still Life with Plaster Cast, Vollard, Ambroise, 19, 13411.4 Cezanne's friendship with, 17, 20
pencil marks in, 127, 128-29, 15-16 Vollard's gallery (Paris) and Cezanne's Still Life with a
133, i35n.9 tied to domestic space, 15-16 first exhibition at (1895), 4> 611.4, Black Clock, 43n.2i
transparency of watercolor in, subject matter, academic hierarchy 19 financial support from, 20
131-32 of, 78 watercolor exhibition in (1905), 19 The Masterpiece, 4, 20, 4211.15
Still Life with Compotier (Cezanne), sugar bowl in Paris, 19
3> 13-H in Still Life: Sugar Bowl, Pears,
in Denis's Homage to Cezanne, and Blue Cup, 12-13 wainscoting, in Still Life with Blue
2, 2, 13 in Still Life with Apples, 17 Pot, 48, 48, 108, 109, 109, 112
Fry (Roger) on, 2, 13, 14, 56 in Still Life with Basket; or, The wallpaper, in -Still Life with
Still Life with Cut Watermelon Kitchen Table, 14 Compotier, 14
(Cezanne), 35, 36 Switzerland, family trip to (1890), 21 watercolor(s)
variations on theme of, 95, 96 admirers of, 2

Photography Credits
Most photographs are reproduced courtesy Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art
of the lenders of the material depicted. Resource, N.Y.: photo: