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Cezanne: A Life


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Alex Danchev gives us the first comprehensive assessment of the revolutionary work and restless life of Paul Cezanne to be published in decades. One of the most influential painters of his time and beyond, Cezanne was the exemplary artist-creator of the modern age who changed the way we see the world. With brisk intellect, rich documentation, and 88 color and 52 black-and-white illustrations, Danchev tells the story of an artist who was originally considered a madman, a barbarian, and a sociopath. Beginning with the unsettled teenager in Aix, Danchev takes us through the trials of a painter who believed that art must be an expression of temperament but was tormented by self-doubt, who was rejected by the Salon for 40 years, who sold nothing outside his immediate circle until his thirties, who had a family that he kept secret from his father until his forties, who had his first exhibition at the age of 56 - but who fiercely maintained his revolutionary beliefs. Danchev shows us how the beliefs Cezanne held and the life he led became the obsession and inspiration of artists, writers, poets, and philosophers from Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to Samuel Beckett and Allen Ginsberg. A special feature of the book is a remarkable series of Cezanne's self-portraits, reproduced in full color. Hardcover, 512 pages