Paul Cézanne


French Artist and Post-Impressionist Painter

Author Quotes

Will I ever attain the end for which I have striven so much and so long? A vague sense of malaise persists.

With a painter's temperament, all that's needed are the means of expression sufficient to be intelligible to the wide public.

Wouldn?t it be wonderful to paint a nude there? There are innumerable motifs here on the banks of the river; the same spot viewed from a different angle offers a subject of the utmost interest. It is so varied that I think I could keep busy for months without changing my place, simply turning now tot the right and now to the left.

Yes, a bunch of carrots, observed directly, painted simply in the personal way one sees it, worth more than the Ecole?s (French Classical Art Academy, ed.) everlasting slices of buttered bread, that tobacco-juice painting, slavishly done by the book? The day is coming when a single original carrot will give birth to a revolution.

You [Vincent van Gogh] positively paint like a madman.

You can?t ask a man to talk sensibly about the art of painting if he simply doesn?t know anything about it. But by God, how can dare to say that a painter is done because he has painted one bad picture? When a picture isn?t realized, you pitch it in the fire and start another one.

You have no idea how life-giving it is to find around one a youth that agrees not to bury one on the spot.

You must think. The eye is not enough; it needs to think as well.

You say a new era in art is preparing; you sensed it coming; continue your studies without weakening. God will do the rest.

You wretch. You?ve spoiled the pose. Do I have to tell you again you must sit like an apple? Does an apple move?

What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is a harmony parallel with nature.

When a picture isn't realized, you pitch it in the fire and start another.

When color has its greatest richness, then form has its plenitude.

When the color achieves richness, the form attains its fullness also.

When they [paintings] are done right, harmony appears by itself. The more numerous and varied they are, the more the effect is obtained and agreeable to the eye.

Whoever the master is whom you prefer, this must only be a directive for you. Otherwise you will never be anything but an imitator.

I work obstinately, and once in a while I catch a glimpse of the Promised Land. Am I to be like the great leader of the Hebrews, or will I really attain unto it? ? I have a large studio in the country. I can work better there than in the city. I have made some progress. Oh, why so late and so painful? Must art indeed be a priesthood, demanding that the faithful be bound to it body and soul?

Is art really the priesthood that demands the pure in heart who belong to it wholly?

My age and health will never allow me to realize the dream of art I've been pursuing all my life.

Painting must give us the flavor of nature?s eternity. Everything, you understand. So I join together nature?s straying hands? From all sides, here there and everywhere, I select colors, tones and shades; I set them down, I bring them together? They make lines, they become objects ? rocks, trees ? without my thinking about them? But if there is the slightest distraction, the slightest hitch, above all if I interpret too much one day, if I?m carried away today by a theory which contradicts yesterday?s, if I think while I?m painting, if I meddle, then whoosh!, everything goes to pieces.

The artist must scorn all judgment that is not based on an intelligent observation of character. He must beware of the literary spirit which so often causes a painting to deviate from its true path ? the concrete study of nature ? to lose itself all too long in intangible speculations.

The strong experience of nature... is the necessary basis for all conception of art on which rests the grandeur and beauty of all future work.

To paint is not to copy the object slavishly, it is to grasp a harmony among many relationships.

I?ve ripped it to pieces; your portrait, you know. I tried to work on it this morning, but it went from bad to worse, so I destroyed it

Is it the factitious and the conventional that most surely succeed on earth and in the course of life?

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French Artist and Post-Impressionist Painter