The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

 

Paul Cezanne

Uploaded on May 28, 2006

Cezanne’s work & debussy, with a quote or three thrown in.

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Paul Cézanne Origins of Modern Art I.3 – Bathers Motif, Renaissance pyramid

Published on Jul 20, 2013

See my playlist on art:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
Paintings:
00:12 Paul Cézanne 1872 – Hortense Breast Feeding. Private Collection
00:32 Paul Cézanne c1870 – Bathers, 33 × 40 cm. Private collection
00:57 Paul Cézanne 1877-78 – Four Bathers, 38 × 46 cm. Private collection
01:12 François Clouet 1558 – The Bath of Diana 133 x 192 (52.4 x 75.6 in). Musée des beaux-arts de Rouen, France
01:29 Paul Cézanne 1885-87 – Five Bathers. Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland
01:57 Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1887 – The Large Bathers, 115 × 170 cm (45.3 × 66.9 in). Museum of Art, Philadelphia, US.
02:18 Paul Cézanne c1890 – Four Bathers, 73 x 92 cm. New Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark
02:28 Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1918 – Bathers, 80 × 65 cm (31.5 × 25.6 in). Barnes Foundation, Merion Pennsylvania, US
02:56 Paul Cézanne 1894/1906 – The Large Bathers (“Les Grandes Baigneuses”), 132.4 x 219.1 cm. The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania, US
04:40 Paul Cézanne 1894/1906 – The Large Bathers, 127 × 196 cm. National Gallery, London
05:13 Paul Cézanne 1894/1906 – The Large Bathers, 210.5 ×250.8cm (82 7⁄8 × 98 3⁄4 in). Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
07:14 Leonardo da Vinci 1483-86 — Virgin of the Rocks, oil on panel (transferred to canvas), 199 × 122 cm (78.3 × 48.0 in). Musée du Louvre, Paris
08:05 Michelangelo 1498-99 – Pietà (sculpture), 174 × 195 cm (68.5 × 76.8 in). St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
08;29 Raphael 1505 – The Madonna of the Meadow, 113 × 88 cm (44 × 35 in). Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
09:01 Titian 1556-59 – Diana and Callisto, 187 x 204.5 cm (73.6 x 80.5 in). National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
10:42 Nicolas Poussin c1627 – Bacchic Scene, 96 x 75 cm (37.80 x 29.53 in). Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany // Scène bachique
11:59 Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault 1819 – The Raft of the Medusa, 491 × 716 cm (193.3 × 282.3 in). Musée du Louvre, Paris
13:28 Paul Cézanne 1879-82 – Three Bathers, 55 x 52 cm (. 21 7/16 x 20 5/16 in). Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris.
14:14 Paul Cézanne c1902 — Bathers with Mont Sainte-Victoire in the background, watercolor over pencil on paper. Private Collection

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I really don’t know if Cezanne is in “Midnight in Paris or not but this below review says that he was. Therefore, I will discuss this great french painter today.

The last time Woody Allen opened a film with such a loving tribute to a city was in “Manhattan” (1979), shot by Gordon Willis. “Midnight In Paris,” shot by Darius Khondji, opens with another breathtaking urban overview, this time of the French capital. Visiting Paris is Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a hack film writer trying to write a novel; his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams); and his materialistic future in-laws. None of them understand Gil’s literary ambitions or his desire to stay in Paris. That desire is in part due to the city’s legendary status in the 1920s as a place where American writers, artists and musicians discovered their artistic potential.

In taking midnight walks alone, Gil finds an antique cab that regularly stops at a corner and whisks him off to his golden age, Paris in the 1920s, populated by members of the Lost Generation following World War I. Arriving at a lively party featuring Cole Porter at the piano, Gil eventually encounters Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddelston) and his unstable wife, Zelda (Allison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) and other creative geniuses. Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), American expatriate and novelist who maintained a salon, reads and critiques his novel, focused, appropriately enough, on nostalgia.

Gil also meets and courts Adriana (Marion Cotillard), who has had affairs with Hemingway, Picasso and Modigliani and is also afflicted with nostalgia for a different period, the Belle Epoque of the 1880’s. Ironically, they meet painters Cezanne and Degas, who want to go back to the Renaissance. Gil doesn’t share Adriana’s desire to stay in the 1880s and begins to gain wise perspective on the  temptations and inadequacies of nostalgia. While his forays around in Paris with some of the 20th century’s greatest artists is presented most entertainingly in this charming film, Gil comes to realize that it is only in the present that he can find creative and personal fulfillment.

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Assuming that he was, I have chosen to discuss him next.

Paul Cézanne was a French painter, often called the father of modern art, who strove to develop an ideal synthesis of naturalistic representation, personal expression, and abstract pictorial order.

Cézanne was born in the southern French town of Aix-en-Provence, January 19, 1839, the son of a wealthy banker. His boyhood companion was émile Zola, who later gained fame as a novelist and man of letters. As did Zola, Cézanne developed artistic interests at an early age, much to the dismay of his father. In 1862, after a number of bitter family disputes, the aspiring artist was given a small allowance and sent to study art in Paris, where Zola had already gone. From the start he was drawn to the more radical elements of the Parisian art world. He especially admired the romantic painter Eugène Delacroix and, among the younger masters, Gustave Courbet and the notorious Edouard Manet, who exhibited realist paintings that were shocking in both style and subject matter to most of their contemporaries.

Many of Cézanne’s early works were painted in dark tones applied with heavy, fluid pigment, suggesting the moody, romantic expressionism of previous generations. Just as Zola pursued his interest in the realist novel, however, Cézanne also gradually developed a commitment to the representation of contemporary life, painting the world he observed without concern for thematic idealization or stylistic affectation.

The most significant influence on the work of his early maturity proved to be Camille Pissarro, an older but as yet unrecognized painter who lived with his large family in a rural area outside Paris. Pissarro not only provided the moral encouragement that the insecure Cézanne required, but he also introduced him to the new impressionist technique for rendering outdoor light.

Along with the painters Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and a few others, Pissarro had developed a painting style that involved working outdoors (en plein air) rapidly and on a reduced scale, employing small touches of pure color, generally without the use of preparatory sketches or linear outlines. In such a manner Pissarro and the others hoped to capture the most transient natural effects as well as their own passing emotional states as the artists stood before nature. Under Pissarro’s tutelage, and within a very short time during 1872-73, Cézanne shifted from dark tones to bright hues and began to concentrate on scenes of farmland and rural villages.

Although he seemed less technically accomplished than the other impressionists, Cézanne was accepted by the group and exhibited with them in 1874 and 1877. In general the impressionists did not have much commercial success, and Cézanne’s works received the harshest critical commentary. He drifted away from many of his Parisian contacts during the late 1870s and ’80s and spent much of his time in his native Aix. After 1882, he did not work closely again with Pissarro. In 1886, Cézanne became embittered over what he took to be thinly disguised references to his own failures in one of Zola’s novels. As a result he broke off relations with his oldest supporter. In the same year, he inherited his father’s wealth and finally, at the age of 47, became financially independent, but socially he remained quite isolated.

Cézanne’s goal was, in his own mind, never fully attained. He left most of his works unfinished and destroyed many others. He complained of his failure at rendering the human figure, and indeed the great figural works of his last years—such as the Large Bathers(circa 1899-1906, Museum of Art, Philadelphia)—reveal curious distortions that seem to have been dictated by the rigor of the system of color modulation he imposed on his own representations. The succeeding generation of painters, however, eventually came to be receptive to nearly all of Cézanne’s idiosyncrasies. Cézanne’s heirs felt that the naturalistic painting of impressionism had become formularized, and a new and original style, however difficult it might be, was needed to return a sense of sincerity and commitment to modern art.

 

For many years Cézanne was known only to his old impressionist colleagues and to a few younger radical postimpressionist artists, including the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and the French painter Paul Gauguin. In 1895, however, Ambroise Vollard, an ambitious Paris art dealer, arranged a show of Cézanne’s works and over the next few years promoted them successfully. By 1904, Cézanne was featured in a major official exhibition, and by the time of his death (in Aix on October 22, 1906) he had attained the status of a legendary figure. During his last years many younger artists traveled to Aix to observe him at work and to receive any words of wisdom he might offer. Both his style and his theory remained mysterious and cryptic; he seemed to some a naive primitive, while to others he was a sophisticated master of technical procedure. The intensity of his color, coupled with the apparent rigor of his compositional organization, signaled to most that, despite the artist’s own frequent despair, he had synthesized the basic expressive and representational elements of painting in a highly original manner.

Francis Schaeffer in the episode, “The Age of Fragmentation,” Episode 8 of HOW SHOULD WE THEN  LIVE? noted:

Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas were following nature as it has been called in their painting they were impressionists.They painted only what their eyes brought them. But was there reality behind the light waves reaching their eyes? After 1885 Monet carried this to its conclusion and reality tended to become a dream. With impressionism the door was open for art to become the vehicle for modern thought. As reality became a dream, impressionism began to fall apart. These men Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, all great post Impressionists felt the problem, felt the loss of meaning. They set out to solve the problem, to find the way back to reality, to the absolute behind the individual things, behind the particulars, ultimately they failed.
I am not saying that these painters were always consciously painting their philosophy of life, but rather in their work as a whole their worldview was often reflected. Cezanne reduced nature to what he considered its basic geometric forms. In this he was searching 
for an universal which would tie all kinds of individual things in nature 
together, but this gave a broken fragmented appearance to his pictures.
File:Paul Cézanne 047.jpg
Les Grandes Baigneuses, 1898–1905: the triumph of Poussinesque stability and geometric balance.
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In his bathers there is much freshness, much vitality. An absolute wonder in the balance of the picture as a whole, but he portrayed not only nature but also man himself in fragmented form. 
I want to stress that I am not minimizing these men as men. To read van Gogh’s letters is to weep for the pain of this sensitive man. Nor do I minimize their talent as painters. Their work often has great beauty indeed. But their art did become the vehicle of modern man’s view of fractured truth and light. As philosophy had moved from unity to fragmentation so did painting. In 1912 Kaczynski wrote an article saying that in so far as the old harmony, that is an unity of knowledge have been lost, that only two possibilities remained: extreme abstraction or extreme naturalism, both he said were equal.
File:Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.jpg
With this painting modern art was born. Picasso painted it in 1907 and called it Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It unites Cezzanne’s fragmentation with Gauguin’s concept of the nobel savage using the form of the african mask which was popular with Parisian art circle of that time. In great art technique is united with worldview and the technique of fragmentation works well with the worldview of modern man. A view of a fragmented world and a fragmented man and a complete break with the art of the Renaissance which was founded on man’s humanist hopes.
Here man is made to be less than man. Humanity is lost. Speaking of a part of Picasso’s private collection of his own works David Douglas Duncan says “Of course, not one of these pictures  was actually a portrait, but his prophecy of a ruined world.”
But Picasso himself could not  live  with this loss of the human. When he was in love with Olga and later Jacqueline he did not consistently paint them in a fragmented way. At crucial 
points of their relationship he painted them as they really were with all his genius, with all their humanity. When he was painting his own young children he did not use fragmented techniques and presentation. I want you to understand that I am not saying that gentleness and humanness is not present in modern art, but as the techniques of modern art advanced, humanity was increasingly 
fragmented.
The opposite of fragmentation would be unity, and the old philosophic thinkers thought they could bring forth this unity from  the humanist base and then they gave this up.

How Should We Then Live? Episode 8: The Age Of Fragmentation

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture

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