Since his death 100 years ago, Cézanne has become the most famous painter of the nineteenth century. He was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839 and the happiest period of his life was his early youth in Provence, in company with Emile Zolá, another Italian. Following Zolá's example, Cézanne went to Paris in his twenty-first year.
During the Franco-Prussian war he deserted the military, dividing his time between open-air painting and the studio. He said to Vollard, an art dealer, "I'm only a painter. Parisian wit gives me a pain. Painting nudes on the banks of the Arc [a river near Aix] is all I could ask for." Encouraged by Renoir, one of the first to appreciate him, he exhibited with the impressionists in 1874 and in 1877. He was received with derision, which deeply hurt him.
Cézanne's ambition, in his own words, was "to make out of Impressionism something as solid and durable as the paintings of the museums." His aim was to achieve the monumental in a modern language of glowing, vibrating tones. Cézanne wanted to retain the natural colour of an object and to harmonise it with the various influences of light and shade trying to destroy it; to work out a scale of tones expressing the mass and character of the form.
Cézanne loved to paint fruit because it afforded him obedient models and he was a slow worker. He did not intend to simply copy an apple. He kept the dominant colour and the character of the fruit, but heightened the emotional appeal of the form by a scheme of rich and concordant tones. In his paintings of still-life he is a master. His fruit and vegetable compositions are truly dramatic; they have the weight, the nobility, the style of immortal forms. No other painter ever brought to a red apple a conviction so heated, sympathy so genuinely spiritual, or an observation so protracted. No other painter of equal ability ever reserved for still-life his strongest impulses. Cézanne restored to painting the pre-eminence of knowledge, the most essential quality to all creative effort.
The death of his father in 1886 made him a rich man, but he made no change in his abstemious mode of living. Soon afterwards, Cézanne retired permanently to his estate in Provence. He was probably the loneliest of painters of his day. At times a curious melancholy attacked him, a black hopelessness. He grew more savage and exacting, destroying canvases, throwing them out of his studio into the trees, abandoning them in the fields, and giving them to his son to cut into puzzles, or to the people of Aix.
At the beginning of the century, when Vollard arrived in Provence with intentions of buying on speculation all the Cézannes he could get hold of, the peasantry, hearing that a fool from Paris was actually handing out money for old linen, produced from barns a considerable number of still-lifes and landscapes. The old master of Aix was overcome with joy, but recognition came too late. In 1906 he died from a fever contracted while painting in a downpour of rain.
Capital city, subject of legends and myths, Paris also has its own special atmosphere. It is undoubtedly among the most beautiful of all cities due to its many celebrated monuments and buildings - the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Sacré Coeur.
Author Véronique Laflèche traces the historical development of Paris before taking us on a trip through the streets and the different areas of this unique city. Halting every now and then to provide us with details on the history of various buildings, famous or not so famous, reveals the throbbing pulse of the Parisian life, enabling us particularly to relish in its little finesses - from drinking mint tea on the patio of the mosque, perhaps, to ambling casually along the paths of the Jardin du Luxembourg. A return ticket between the past and the present, this book is concerned above all with the description of the city as it is today - in a process of constant change and of constant renewal.
Wie keine andere Metropole strahlt diese mythengeladene Stadt eine besondere Aura aus. Für die meisten ist sie ganz einfach die schnste Stadt der Welt dank der Sehenswürdigkeiten, die sie berühmt machen: Eiffel-turm, Triumphbogen und Sacré Coeur.
Véronique Laflèche schreibt die Geschichte dieser Stadt und führt uns durch ihre Straßen und Viertel. Ausführlich informiert sie über alle bekannten und interessanten Kirchen und Museen, gibt aber auch Hinweise, wie man sich in Paris vergnügen und erholen kann: beispielsweise bei einem Pfefferminztee im Innenhof der Moschee oder bei einem Spaziergang im Jardin du Luxembourg.
In einem geschickten und abwechslungsreichen Hin und Her zwischen Gegenwart und Vergangenheit beschreibt das Buch die Stadt wie sie war und ist: stets in Bewegung, stets in Veränderung und stets unterwegs zu neuen Horizonten.
Capitale mythique entre toutes, Paris bénéficie d'une aura toute particulière. Certains la considèrent même comme la plus belle ville du monde, grâce à ces monuments qui ont fait sa renommée : la tour Eiffel, l'arc de triomphe ou encore le Sacré-Coeur.
Après avoir retracé l'évolution historique de Paris, l'auteur nous convie à une balade dans les rues et quartiers de la capitale. S'arrêtant ça et là pour nous fournir des détails historiques sur les différents édifices, connus et moins connus, elle prend aussi le pouls de la vie pari-sienne et rend compte de ses menus délices : boire un thé à la menthe dans le patio de la mosquée ou tout simplement flâner dans les allées du jardin du Luxembourg.
Fait d'allers-retours entre passé et présent, ce livre n'oublie pas de décrire la ville telle qu'elle est aujourd'hui, toujours en mouvement, sans cesse renouvelée.