Cézanne and the Modern City

Paul Cézanne, The Rooftops of Paris, 1881-82. Oil on canvas, 59.7 x 73 cm, © Pri
Paul Cézanne, The Rooftops of Paris, 1881-82. Oil on canvas, 59.7 x 73 cm, © Private collection

Nicola Homer reviews the exhibtion Cézanne in Paris at the Musée du Luxembourg, on view through February 26, 2012.

Homer writes that "The show takes as its starting point the year in which the 21-year-old Cézanne arrived in the city, after a number of letters from Zola encouraging him to escape the confines of Aix. But in contrast to the writer’s literary description of the spectacle of Napoleon III's modernised capital, with its wide elegant boulevards and uniform façades designed by Prefect Haussmann; and its surface attractions like dance and theatre... what unfolds is Cézanne’s description of a silent 'inner' city that was frequently overlooked."