Cézanne at the Musée Granet

A native of Provence, the father of modern art enjoys pride of place in the museum’s exhibition spaces, once by explored the artist himself.

The museum has ten paintings by Paul Cézanne and the artist enjoys a special place in its collections. Among the masterworks displayed in this room are a painting produced prior to his monumental versions of The Bathers, an early still life, a Portrait of Madame Cézanne, a work in tribute to Delacroix, and a recent addition to the museum’s collections - the Portrait of Zola (see inset).

I am the primitive of a new art.
Paul Cézanne

The museum’s collection of masterworks by Paul Cézanne provides a concise history of the Aix-born painter’s artistic career. Six of the artist’s watercolours and several his drawings and engravings are also conserved in the museum’s storerooms.

The musée Granet recently added the only known portrait of Zola by Cézanne to its existing holding of nine paintings by the artist. In 2011, the Communauté du Pays d’Aix acquired this portrait of Emile Zola, another famous son of Aix and a fellow student of Cézanne’s at the Collège Bourbon (now the Collège Mignet). One of the artist’s early works, this oil painting on canvas (25.8 x 20.8cm) was executed in Paris between 1862 and 1863. Presented in 1929 in Paris, then in 1936 in New York, for the next forty years it languished in the safe of Ambroise Vollard, the renowned art dealer who introduced Cézanne to the general public. It reappeared in 2010, when it was sold at auction, allowing the musée Granet to purchase its first work by Paul Cézanne!