First ever Cezanne portrait exhibition coming to London
The first ever exhibition dedicated to Paul Cezanne’s portraits will be coming to London at the end of 2017. This will be the first time an exhibition has been entirely devoted to Cezanne’s portraits, even though he was hailed as “the father of us all” by Picasso and Matisse.
The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is collaborating with the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC to bring the once in a lifetime exhibition to London, Paris and Washington next year and into 2018. More than 50 of Cezanne’s portraits taken from collections housed around the world will be included in the exhibition.
A number of portraits that are being included in the exhibition have never before been on public display in the UK, including Self-Portrait in a Bowler Hat, which is on loan from the NY Carlsberg Glyptotek Gallery in Copenhagen.
Other works haven’t been seen in the UK for decades, with the Boy in the Red Waistcoat not having been on display in the country since the 1930s. This piece is part of a series of paintings that feature the Michelangelo de Rosa. It is on loan from the National Gallery of Art.
The exhibition will allow people to follow Cezanne’s portrait career right through from the portraits of his Uncle Dominique from the 1860s to his final pieces painted before his death in 1906. His last portraits are of Vallier who helped the artist in his garden and studio toward the end of his life.
Nicholas Cullinan, director of the NPG, said: “Up until now, Cézanne’s portraiture has received surprisingly little attention, so we are thrilled to be able to bring together so many of his portraits for the first time to reveal arguably the most personal, and therefore most human, aspect of Cézanne’s art.”
The show includes just a quarter of the known 200 portraits created by Cezanne throughout his life, with his total collection including 26 self-portraits and 29 of his wife Hortense Fiquet.
This exhibition will look at the thematic and pictorial elements that are part of Cezanne’s portraiture, which includes using the same subject within multiple paintings and creating complementary pairs. It will also look at how his style and method changed over the years, including how he understood identity.
Parts of the exhibition will look at ways in which certain sitters affected Cezanne’s painting characteristics and his artistic development.
The show will be opening at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris on June 13th, where it will stay until September 24th. It will then move to London on October 26th until February 11th, 2018 before going to the National Gallery of art in Washington DC on March 25th to July 1st, 2018.