Paul Cezanne was one of the leading artists of Post Impressionism. Cezanne’s exploration of geometric simplification and optical phenomena inspired many painters of the 20th Century to experiment with simplifications and complex multiple views. Such was his influence that even Picasso and Matisse called him “the father of us all.” Here are 10 of the most famous paintings by one of the greatest painters of all time.
#10 The Murder
Year: 1867 – 1868
Claim to Fame: One of the most important paintings of the ‘Dark Period’ of Cezanne’s art which many consider as the inception of modern expressionism.
#9 The Boy in the Red Vest
Year: 1888 or 1890
Claim to Fame: Valued at $91 million, it is considered one of the best portraits painted by him. It was stolen from Zurich and was in news when it was recovered from Serbia in 2012.
#8 L’Estaque, Melting Snow
Claim to Fame: Painted in a single session, it is one of his best known landscape paintings and one which has divided critics on whether it was drawn from a personal perspective or in response to the war in Prussia.
#7 Portrait of Madame Cézanne with Loosened Hair
Year: 1890 – 1892
Claim to Fame: The most famous of the 44 portraits of Hortense Fiquet, who progressed from being Cezanne’s mistress to wife to ex-wife.
#6 The Basket of Apples
Claim to Fame: Cezanne is considered the greatest master of still life painting and this is one of his most important works in the genre. It is also noted for the beautifully painted unbalanced parts and the fruits which are about to fall from the table.
#5 Pyramid of Skulls
Claim to Fame: Pyramid of Skulls is exceptional in the artist’s oeuvre, for “in no other painting did Cézanne place his objects so close to the viewer.” It has inspired many artists ever since including Picasso and Andy Warhol.
#4 Mont Sainte-Victoire Series
Claim to Fame: These paintings are well known for the masterful way in which Cezanne has depicted reality and our perception of it.
#3 Jug, Curtain and Fruit Bowl
Year: 1893 – 1894
Claim to Fame: This work is the most celebrated still life painting of Cezanne. It also holds the record for the most expensive still life painting ever sold at an auction.
#2 The Card Players Series
Year: Early 1890s
Claim to Fame: This series is considered among the most important works of Post-Impressionism. In 2011, one of the paintings of the series was sold for more than $250 million and since then it has held the record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold.
#1 The Bathers
Year: 1898 – 1905
Claim to Fame: Considered a masterpiece of modern art and Cezanne’s finest work, this painting paved the way for future artists to break away from tradition, thus providing a bridge between Post-Impressionism and art movements of the twentieth century. It also featured in the BBC series of 100 greatest paintings.