Cézanne and the Master Painters: a Dream of Italy

Cézanne and the Master Painters: a Dream of Italy is an exhibition displayed at the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris which has been prolonged until January 3rd, 2021. The exhibition traces Paul Cézanne’s artistic development from a particular perspective, that being his relationship with Italy and Italian masters of art from the 16th to the 20th century. Interestingly, Cézanne never travelled to Italy, but he was strongly inspired by Italian art and, in turn, his work later inspired Italian artists. The exhibition thus focuses on the “Italianness” of Cézanne, placing him in a dialogue with the Italian artists whose work he engaged with, or others he himself inspired.


Cézanne self-portrait


The exhibition presents around sixty paintings, placing Cézanne’s work alongside the Italian version which inspired the artist. The Italian artists whose work we can admire range from different centuries, but in particular we can find the works of masters such as Tintoretto, El Greco, Ribera, Giordano, as well as Carrà, Soffici, Boccioni and Morandi. The works of these artists are displayed next to Cézanne’s, creating a discourse on Italy and Italian art. Cézanne was also a great admirer of Latin authors, and his artwork displayed in the first part of the exhibition is permeated with Latin influence. Moving towards the final showrooms we find the reversed phenomenon: how Cézanne’s work influenced Italian artists.

While Cézanne never set foot in Italy himself, he came from Provence, a French region bordering Italy, meaning that at least the landscape would be the same as in the North of Italy. This is evident, for example, in Cézanne’s painting of the Sainte Victoire Mountain, which in some way represents the relationship between the artist and Italy. The representation of nature, which could easily be Italian, shows the Mediterranean dimension of the landscape, bringing Cézanne closer to Italy. The painting glows of a particular light and expresses a landscape that is classical and timeless, “enduring like the art of museums”, like the artist himself said when talking about how his impressionist art should be.


Montagne Sainte-Victoire Cézanne


This exhibition not only displays impressionist masterpieces, but is particularly interesting for the perspective it offers on a part of Cézanne’s work and how it creates a dialogue among artists that inspired Cézanne and artists that were inspired by him.


Cézanne at the Musée Marmottan Monet


If you missed the opportunity to go to this exhibition, ArtLuxury can still make it happen! Contact us for a virtual guided tour of this exhibition – or any other exhibition or theme you are interested in, that you can find in our new programme of Virtual Cultural Lectures!