||Cezanne: The Self-portraits
This study is devoted to the self-portraits of Paul Cezanne, celebrated by many as the founding father of modern art. It begins in the 1860s, when the young Cezanne was struglling to make his mark in the Parisian art world. His earliest self-portraits express all the hostility he projected at both the official Salon and the avant-garde. By the early 1870s, however, Cezanne sought rapprochement with the avant-garde, joining Camille Pissarro at Pontoise and temporarily adopting Impressionist techniques. His self-portraits of this era depict a more sober and accommodating figure. Like Rembrandt, Cezanne also inserted his own image into narrative paintings, in particular a deeply revealing series from the late 1860s and 1870s. By his final years Cezanne had quelled the exuberant Romanticism of his youthful temperament. His self-portraits now show a spirit of introspection and scepticism that was very much in tune with the Symbolist mood of the times. These works are also, finally, serene and magisterial, depicting a man who, despite the doubts that never left him, had seen his aesthetic path and was unfailingly committed to it.