Mar 25 2018 - Jul 8 2018

Bringing together some 60 examples drawn from collections around the world, Cézanne Portraits is the first exhibition devoted to the famed post-impressionist’s portraits. The revelatory exhibition provides the first full visual account of Paul Cézanne’s portrait practice, exploring the pictorial and thematic characteristics of his works in the genre, the chronological development of his style and method, and the range and influence of his sitters. 

Several paintings are exclusive to the National Gallery of Art’s presentation, while some works have never before been exhibited in the United States. 

Credit: Exhibition description for the museum website

Image:  Paul Cézanne, Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-1890, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art


Whether or not you go, Cézanne Portraits is the accompanying catalogur for this exhibition, providing a broad range of images that reveal the most personal and human qualities of this remarkable artist. Beautifully illustrated with works of art drawn from public and private collections around the world, Cézanne Portraits is a major new study of the portraiture of one of the most important artists of the nineteenth century.

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) may be best known for his landscapes, but he also painted some 160 portraits throughout his exceptional career. This major work establishes portraiture as an essential practice for Cézanne, from his earliest self-portraits in the 1860s; to his famous depictions of figures including his wife Hortense Fiquet, the writer Émile Zola, and the art dealer Ambrose Vollard; and concluding with a poignant series of portraits of his gardener Vallier, made shortly before Cézanne's death.

Featured essays by leading experts explore the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne's portraits. The authors address the artist's creation of complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject, as well as the role of self-portraiture for Cézanne. They investigate the chronological evolution of his portrait work, with an examination of the changes that occurred within his artistic style and method, and in his understanding of resemblance and identity. They also consider the extent to which particular sitters influenced the characteristics and development of Cézanne's practice.

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  • Painting
  • European
  • 19th Century
  • Portrait
  • Post-Impressionism
  • Paul Cézanne

Venues & Dates