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Painting, 1875, 64×53 cm
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Description of the artwork «Self-portrait»

Cézanne didn't really like his appearance. In this portrait he is 36 years old, early bald, not popular with women due to his shyness and quick temper, and known as an eccentric. He created for himself the secular image of a sluggish, rude bear, a grumpy bumpkin. He imitated a Southern accent, dragged the cart with his paintings, swore all around and could keep silent for a long time. It was convenient for him to hide behind this spectacular role and clown around, hiding the awkwardness and dealing with misunderstanding. The real Cézanne was an intellectual, a sage, an astute observer, a reader, a recluse, a prophet and an inspirer of all modern art. Over time this Cézanne would be drawn in the memories of close friends, in enthusiastic reviews of young artists, and in self-portraits.

In his lifetime, Cézanne painted 26 impressive self-portraits. For the painter, they were an important tool for self-analysis and, perhaps, self-education and self-organization. Just the way Cézanne, by means of painting, reveals the lasting essence of the Mount Sainte-Victoire, the old pine, the apple or the sagging home, so he reveals his own essence through the self-portraits.

Cézanne was often reproached for the lack of resemblance in his self-portraits. At the same time, most of them became part of personal collections of the painter's friends and colleagues. Cézanne didn't create photographically accurate portraits. It is often difficult to identify the same person in several images of his wife. Still, each of his self-portraits is invariably the image of a mountain-man, a block-man. And this is a block in formation, a block, inside of which geological, tectonic, mystical and cosmic processes are continuously occurring.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Post-Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1875

Size: 64×53 cm

Artwork in selections: 10 selections

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