Say “Paul Cézanne,” and we think of landscape and still life paintings, images of Mont Sainte-Victoire, and apples on rucked-up tablecloths. The many repetitions and variations of these motifs affirm their lifelong resonance for their author, prompting some art historians, notably Meyer Schapiro, to speculate on why these subjects reverberated so continuously for Cézanne and to find clues to emotional connections in his drawings and schoolboy writings. Others have maintained that the essential neutrality of landscape forms and still life objects allowed the famously unsociable artist to concentrate on relationships of tonality, hue, and form without having to deal with personalities. Yet Cézanne, despite his reported discomfort with people other than close friends and family, was also a lifelong painter of figures, from early narrative paintings, to the many small groups of bathers,...


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