European Art: 19th Century

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Uncle Dominique, 1866

Paul Cézanne

French, 1839-1906
Oil on canvas
18-1/8 x 15 in. (46.1 x 38.2 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1968.31.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Staying with his family outside Aix-en-Provence, Cézanne painted nine portraits of his uncle Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (b. 1817) in late 1866. He worked quickly, using both a brush and a palette knife and applying paint almost as though it were cement. The resulting works are not only images but emphatically material objects. As we look at them we cannot help but consider the process of their making. In the 1870s, Cézanne abandoned this bracing, "savage" manner in favor of the analytic approach for which he is best remembered today.

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