With his distinctive paintings of landscapes, figures and still lifes, Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) profoundly influenced the Cubists and the direction of twentieth-century art. In this lively account of the artists life and work, Mary Tompkins Lewis traces Cezanne from his early years in Aix-en-Provence, struggling to become a painter in the face of opposition from his father, through his time in Paris studying the Old Masters and working with the Impressionists, to his later, reclusive years back in Provence, when he produced the pictures that made him the precursor of a new art.
But however important Cezanne`s work was for later generations, Lewis argues that it can be fully understood only in the context of both the social and historical circumstances of late nineteenth-century France, and the regional aspirations and tensions of Provence. This is the first study of Cezanne to bring biographical, formal and contextual approaches to bear on the artists full career. In doing so, Lewis has shed new light on Cezanne as an artist of his own time and place.