The French artist Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) produced a wealth of paintings, drawings and watercolours. Although his intention was to renew classical art, his tendency to abstraction makes him a forerunner of modern art. The exhibition at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the catalogue take a fresh look at Cézanne’s bright landscapes, bathers, portraits and still lifes.
Although it is commonly assumed that Cézanne radically changed his style over the course of his career, the exhibition at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the catalogue underscore the continuity discernible in all phases of his work. They also stress the importance of tradition and copying for this artist: Cézanne created probably more copies of works by old masters and contemporary painters than any other artist of his generation, and excelled in revisiting the originals and breathing new life into the details and figures that he reused for his own compositions.