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I’m a photographer, not a painter, but during the last couple years I’ve acquired an informal education on art history going back maybe 150 or 200 years. I’m not so much interested in cave paintings or religious homage or portraits of kings and important people. I’m more interested in life as the little people, like me, can relate to it.

I have my favorite painters and favorite styles and movements and shit. I’m still learning, and my tastes are always shifting a little as I’m exposed to new work. I know enough, however, to know that I owe Paul Cezanne a debt of gratitude even I’ve I had never seen one of his paintings and never would.

Cezanne was one of those ground-breakers who shifted world of painting of his time. He scared the shit out of the establishment, as it were, and opened new doors to other painters. Picasso and Matisse, among many others, found their niche in modern painting’s canon in part by standing on the shoulders of Paul Cezanne.  That artists today are free to do whatever they feel and call it art has a lot to do with Cezanne putting his neck on the block on our behalf, but I think it would be wrong to blame contemporary art on him directly. Cezanne helped give artists more choices, he didn’t make them for us.

If you were curious, you could look at almost 500 Cezanne paintings here. I like a lot of Cezanne’s work, like this one:

River with the Bridge of the Three Sources 1906




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