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Surveying the Card Players Painting by Paul Cezanne



. 3 February 2019

Balasz Takac is an alias of Vladimir Bjelicic, who actively deals with art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

In 1906, the British art critic Roger Fry used the term "post-impressionism". for the first time to describe an art movement that occurred between 1886 and 1905. It was mainly practiced by the French and was predominantly a rejection of dominant Impressionist interests such as light and color. This movement was headed by Paul Cézanne who is considered the founding father of the same.

At the height of post-Impressionist zeal around the 1

890s, this gifted artist produced the famous painting The Card Player . It is a series that consists of five works that differ in size, the number of figures depicted and the environment in which the game takes place. Of course, Cézanne designed a series of preparatory sketches and drawings while working on the series considered as a sort of introduction to his later and critically best-preserved works.

  Paul Cezanne - Man with a Pipe Study for Card Players
Paul Cézanne – Man with Pipe (Study for Card Players), 1890-1892. Oil on canvas, 39 x 30,2 cm. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

The series of paintings

The iconic composition focuses on Provencal peasants who are in a card game ; They are all male and really immerse themselves in a game, with one of them holding a pipe in his mouth. Paul Cézanne hired local farmers to pose for the paintings, and some of them were employed on the artist's family estate .

This scene was virtually expanded by a motif that was dominated in the Netherlands and in the 17th century French Genre Painting by drunken gamblers in lousy taverns. According to scientists, the painting, which hangs in an Aix-en-Provence museum near an artists' house by one of Le Nain's brothers, inspired Cézanne for this series. In contrast to the paintings of the 17th century Cézanne's card players are instead serious and focused craftsmen who look down on maps in a rather subtle environment and do not look at each other, so the atmosphere is altogether calm and almost contemplative. This was also achieved through the removal of alcohol and money, which supported the historical genre.

  Paul Cézanne - Study for Card Players
Paul Cézanne – Study for Card Players, 1890-92. Oil on canvas, 32 x 35 cm. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts

The Card Players of Paul Cézanne in the Display

The Courtauld Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York organized a joint exhibition to The Card Players Painting along with early studies and sketches of the series. It was the first exhibition entirely dedicated to the series, and contained all the paintings owned by the Courtauld, the Metropolitan and the Musée d & # 39; Orsay under one roof. The remaining two versions of the Barnes Foundation and a private collection were shown as printed matter as the Barnes policy did not loan and the private collector was unwilling to lend the work.

The following list will be displayed, highlight every single image in the series and help you better understand this Cézanne masterpiece.

Editor's tip: Cézanne's The Courtauld Gallery

Paul Cézanne's famous series of peasant card games has long been a staple his most important and powerful works. The image of sitting peasants who are silent and seemingly mute and focus on their card game can be seen as a human counterpart to the landscapes in Cézanne's homeland, especially in Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which for him had an iconic meaning. This catalog accompanies a major exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Selected image: Paul Cézanne – The Card Players, 1892-93. Oil on canvas, 97 × 130 cm, private collection


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