25 May to 27 September 2009

  • with
  • Communauté du Pays d'Aix
  • Réunion des musées nationaux et du grand Palais des Champs-Elysées
L’Homme à la pipe - Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), 1892 – 1895, oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London

Three years after “Cézanne in Provence”, the musée Granet is holding another major exhibition, this time exploring Cézanne’s influence on Picasso, the giant of 20th century art.

Although this relationship has always intrigued art historians, it has paradoxically never been the subject of an international exhibition. The bond between Picasso and Cézanne, one of mutual admiration and respect, was truly unique, however, and when he took up residence at the Château de Vauvenargues in 1959, at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire, Picasso revealed much about Cézanne’s influence on him. By examining Picasso’s artistic production from the point of view of his relationship with Cézanne, the exhibition therefore asks: what if, far from the “Picasso myth” and its accompanying media frenzy, Cézanne is a key to understanding the multifacted artist’s secret garden, the “intimate Picasso”?

Paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings will shed light on the Spanish painter’s major references, sources of reflection and meditation in relation to the painting “father” he had chosen for himself. The exhibition revolves around four themes: Picasso explores Cézanne, from his arrival in Paris in 1900 to the end of his Cubist period; Picasso as Cézanne collector and avid expert: Picasso had several Cézanne masterworks in his own private collection; Themes and shapes in common with Cézanne: fruit bowls, skulls, bathers and Harlequins; Picasso moves closer to Cézanne: purchase of the Château and stay in Vauvenargues with his masterworks, portrait of Jacqueline, Henri II sideboard series and still lives, start of his Déjeuner sur l’herbe series.

This rare exhibition will enable the visitor to understand the close ties that bound Picasso and Cézanne, and to rediscover, under a new angle, the infinite richness and complexity of Picasso’s work.

For this exhibition, three publications will be available in the musée Granet shop:

  • the Picasso Cézanne exhibition catalogue (Ed. Rmn/CPA, 280 pages, €39): in addition to a detailed presentation of the exhibition, this catalogue also features contributions by members of the Picasso Cézanne scientific committee and guest authors, an exclusive interview with Douglas Duncan, and a dual biography illustrated with Cézanne’s works seen by Picasso at exhibitions,
  • the album (Ed. Rmn/CPA, 48 pages, €9), best-of the catalogue,
  • the fascicule (Ed. Rmn, 16 pages, €3.5) to accompany your visit to the exhibition.

Curator of the exhibition: Bruno Ely, senior heritage curator