European Art: 19th Century

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Uncle Dominique, 1866

Paul CĂ©zanne

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

On view

Staying with his family outside Aix-en-Provence, CĂ©zanne painted nine portraits of his maternal uncle Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert 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 also emphatically material objects. As we look at them, we cannot help but consider the process of their making. In the 1870s, CĂ©zanne abandoned this bracing, savage manner in favor of the analytic approach for which he is best remembered today.

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