“Painting from nature is not copying the object,” Cézanne wrote, “it is realizing one’s sensations.” In this work the artist demonstrates that a still life can be more than an imitation of life—it can be an exploration of seeing and of the very nature of painting. Never aiming for mere illusion, Cézanne consistently drew attention to the quality of the paint and canvas. Here, for example, some areas of canvas are left bare, and others, like the drape of the tablecloth, appear unfinished. Rules of perspective, too, are broken: the right corner of the table tilts forward and is not aligned with the left side.
Gallery label from 2022