Paul Cezanne - House and Farm at Jas de Bouffan - 1885 - 60 x 73 cm - 24 x 29 in - oil on canvas


Cezanne is considered by many as the father of modern art. I certainly agree.

One of the main reasons why he is so highly regarded is how he resolved what was being considered “the problem with perspective”.  Perspective freezes the viewer and the subject matter.  An an alternative was elusive for progressive artists of the time. .

How does an artist show depth or space and permit the viewer movement?

Cezanne resolved this with what is termed planes of space, as I will explain in this detail


We sense planes (or shapes) before information.  I realize it can take time to consciously see them and an artist should not force them onto the viewer.

Note the dark vertical lines and how the one one the right connects to the tree. The bottom of the left line also has a angle which compliments the angle of the tree.

Starting at the top note how your eye travels down between the lines and then moves to the left as directed by the tree.  Can you sense the space between the lines being in front of the building?  If you can it is because you know the tree is in front of the house.

When you begin to see these planes you become more engaged with the artist.

Also, ask yourself why are the buildings leaning?  There is a great deal to appreciate in a Cezanne painting.  The leaning energizes the painting, if they were straight up and down as they are in reality, the painting would have a static feel, which he did not want!  .


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