By the last Impressionist exhibition in 1886, younger artists and critics decided to change the way of representing art. Eventually these artists became known as the Post-Impressionists, a term that grouped together variety of individual different artistic styles. Post-Impressionism is a French art movement developed roughly between 1886 and 1905, from the last Impressionist exhibition to the birth of Fauvism. It started in a period which painting had its own traditional role as a window to see the world through it but post impressionism changed painting rule as a window that will connect an artist’s mind and soul and every artist can express how they feel or think by painting.
Even though Post-Impressionism was first founded in Paris, the emphasis on symbolic and expressive content meant that city life was no longer overruling subject for artists and their interests started to be in other things. As a result many painters moved to out of cities and developed their individual style outside of Paris in uncivilized areas. For instance Van Gogh arrived at his mature style in Arles in the south of France; and in an unusual abandonment of Paris, Gauguin moved to Tahiti and continued doing his artworks there far from Paris. Also, Cezanne that was one of the most important artists of this period spent most of his career in Provence and reached to his unique and matured style there which was totally different with styles of renaissance period. So how Cézanne ignored the laws of classical perspective that existed in renaissance and came up with a new rule and method to do paintings?
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter born on 19 January 1839 whose work leaded to the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century artworks to a new and different world of art in the 20th century which we can mention it as modern art. In his painting, Paul Cezanne explored the fundamental structure and style of still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. After doing so many explorations in art world, He came up with an idea that we can look at nature in different way, and we can see the landscape and simplify everything in it as geometric components and forms such as cylinder, sphere, or cone. So he started painting objects in his way which made him an artist with unique style among other artists. He almost merged and joined foreground with background by mixing some of their elements, which as a result surface and depth were combined in artistic way.
Though Cézanne painted still life compositions from the start of his career, it was only in later years that this genre and category began to conquer an indispensable place in his work. Apples and Oranges painting that is done in 1899 belongs to this period which is one of the six still life painting that was done by Cézanne. He followed the same style in painting still lifes so each of these six artworks contain the same accessories: ceramic dishes, and a pitcher (jug) decorated with a floral motif placed on a draped textile. Their disposition is also similar. Cezanne mainly arranged ordinary fruits, flowers, and humble studio objects with a sober majesty to work with. Many of Cezanne’s later still lifes challenge traditional concepts of finish by showing wide areas of unpainted canvas.
As a description of apples and oranges painting done by Cézanne, The objects are inclined around the table in apparently casual fashion that shows attractive movement in still objects and gives an impression of depth and life. Furthermore the focal point of the painting, the single apple at the front of the table which is where we look at it first, is exactly at the geometrical center of the picture plane, where the two diagonals cross each other. As the result we can see a composition that frames apples on a plate which gives color, oranges in a compotier which burn the space plus a faience pitcher. The geometric patterned carpet on the left which has brown, violet, green and red colors in it is used in three other artworks done by Cézanne that can be mentioned as lady in blue, Italian girl leaning on her elbow and three skulls on a patterned carpet. The cloth on the right with its blue-green leaf motifs against a beige ground, was drawn several times by Cézanne in his portraits, still lifes and other artworks in the late 1880’s. Cézanne organized a white table cloth which looks like a bed of new fallen snow on the front part of the table to achieve the prosperity of this décor. The deep folds in the fabric which gives deliverance to it, are represented by a mixture of contours and dark hatching. Also the colored skins of the fruits stand out with a raised brightness and radiance.
In this painting, still life objects are organized in a diagonal form which starts from lower left corner to the upper right corner and we can only see the right leg of the table. The main objects are arranged approximately in a triangle or pyramid with its base resting on a horizontal line just below the midpoint. As for the table, it is not clear whether it is parallel to the picture plane or at an angle. Another oddity is that the plate of apples on the left is evidently sloped. It may be sustained by something under the cloth. In fact, Cézanne is known to have used wooden blocks and books to raise or tilt objects. In at least one of his still lifes such a block is visible and can be seen. Cézanne is infrequent in that he created strongly modelled forms that are extraordinary for the intensity of their color. So a part of his attainment and effect lies in this coordinating of color and form, a brightening of the palette without surrendering three dimensionality. This painting and other still lifes are remarkable for their casual and informal atmosphere.