Les Joueurs de cartes ( The Card Players) 1890-1892;
Oil on canvas17 3/4 x 22 1/2 in The Louvre, Paris ; from here
Paul Cézanne died on Oct. 22, 1906 in Aix-en-Provence (b. Jan 19, 1839). He was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century.
In effect, Cézanne was a contemporary of the impressionists, but he went beyond their interests in the individual brushstroke and the fall of light onto objects, to create, in his words, “something more solid and durable, like the art of the museums.”
The art of Paul Cezanne is considered today as being of enormous importance to the developoment of modern art. From his search for underlying structure of the composition came Cubism and then Abstraction.
Pablo Picasso about him said “My one and only master . . . Cezanne was like the father of us all”.
The picture above is Les Jouers de cartes (The Card players),
an iconic work by Cézanne.
About this work Meyer Shapiro in “Cezanne” wrote:
«It is the image of a pure contemplativeness without pathos. Given the symmetry of the two card players looking fixedly at their cards, Cezanne had to surmount the rigidity and obviousness of the pair and yet preserve the gravity of their absorbed attitudes. It is remarkable how thoroughly interesting is this perfectly legible picture, how rich in effective inventions of color and form.
The problem: how to image the figures as naturally symmetrical, with identical roles – each is the other’s partner in an agreed opposition – but to express also the life of their separateness, without descending to episode and weakening the pure contemplative quality, so rare in older paintings of the game».