Two Cézanne exhibits currently in Paris got me thinking about inspiration. Cézanne and Paris, at the Musée du Luxembourg through February 26th, demonstrates how the city fueled the artist. Whether looking through a window at rows of roofs or studying the back of a black model, he assiduously explored the angles, colors and affect of life in the multifarious and vibrant capital. This intimate exhibition of approximately 85 works also highlights Cézanne’s reliance on friends and acquaintances. Through contemporary writers, painters, dealers and collectors, he navigated the Paris art scene and found ongoing support for his new ideas and work.
The American Stein brothers Leo and Michael along with their sister Gertrude relocated to Paris between 1902 and 1904 and immediately acquired Cézanne’s work, introduced to the wealthy intellectual trio by his prescient dealer, Ambroise Vollard. The Grand Palais’s blockbuster Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso …The Stein Family’s Adventure in Art, here until January 16th, explores Cézanne’s influence on the siblings’ cutting edge collection, anchored by the works of Picasso and Matisse, who were also regulars at the Steins’ Saturday salons. More than 200 works exhibited throughout two floors weave a story about family, friends and modern ideas. Notably, Gertrude credits Cézanne for triggering her interest in deconstruction; her first book Three Lives debuted in 1909, three years after Cézanne’s death.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online, which I highly recommend to avoid long lines. I walked through Cézanne and Paris in an hour, without the audio guide. The Stein adventure took more than two hours, with the indispensable, hold to the ear and press as you please, audio guide.
Photo Credit: Deflam.
Susan Lyons is a Paris contributor to The Seen.