This major international exhibition brings together for the first time over fifty of Cezanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK. Cezanne Portraits will be at the National Portrait Gallery in London from October 26, 2017, to February 11, 2018.
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) is one of the most influential artists of the nineteenth century and his unique method of building the form with color and analytical approach to nature influenced the art of Cubists, Fauvists, and successive generations of avant-garde artists.
Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cezanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits. The exhibition will offer a unique and fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work, highlighting the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of his portraiture including his creation of complementary pairs and different versions of the same subject.
The exhibition will also consider the extent to which particular sitters shaped the development of his practice. Paintings on display will range from multiple portraits of himself and his wife, Hortense Fiquet, Cezanne’s remarkable portrayals of his Uncle Dominique, dating from the 1860s, through to his final portraits of the gardener Vallier, who helped in his studio at Les Lauves, Aix-en-Provence.
Also displayed for the first time in the United Kingdom are two portraits of Cezanne’s wife, Hortense Fiquet – Madame Cezanne Sewing (1877), on loan from the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm and Madame Cezanne (1886–7), on loan from the Detroit Institute of Arts; a portrait of Cezanne’s close friend Antoine-Fortune Marion, who became Director of the Museum of Natural History in Marseille and went on painting expeditions with Cezanne in Provence; and one of a series of portraits of Cezanne’s maternal uncle, Dominique Aubert who, dressed in differing costumes, sat for nine or ten portraits by his nephew over the winter of 1866–7.