art masterpiece: cezanne

Art Masterpiece is an art appreciation program offered to elementary children by parent volunteer guides. The goal is to help students look, think and talk about great masterpieces of art. I'm a volunteer guide and I am sharing my art discussions with you in this weekly post. Hope you enjoy it! 

Flowers and Pears by Paul Cezanne

About the Artist: Today I am teaching you about an Impressionist painter name Paul Cezanne. He was born in Paris, France in 1839 and lived to be 67 years old. He was quiet and moody but loved art. Paul Cezanne liked to paint everyday things, landscapes and self-portraits.

He created 30 self-portraits. Show self portrait. Do you think he looks happy in any of these paintings? Some say he was unhappy because no one seemed to like his paintings; he didn't sell any of them and never won any awards. Today though his paintings are worth a lot of money and he is known as one of the great painters of the 19th century.

Let’s look at the painting.

Cezanne painted this from 1888-1890; it took 3 years to paint. The actual size of this paining is 19 3/4" x 24". (show on ruler)

What would you name it? This painting is called Flowers and Pears and it is a still life painting. Paul Cezanne enjoyed still life paintings (everyday objects). He spent a lot of time arranging the objects. In his life he created 200 still life paintings!

Why would any artist want to paint a still life? Cezanne liked working with fruits, plants, bottles and vases because they didn't move or talk back to him. He spent a lot of time arranging the objects.

Like our artist last week, this artist is also an impressionist painter. Impressionism was an art movement. We know it’s an impressionist painting because of …

E - everyday life / objects
L – focus on light
B - brush strokes
O – outdoor scenes
W – weather

What colors do you see? Greens, blues and yellows show a cheerful mood in this painting.

Are the colors warm or cool? He uses both.

His art is special because he used color and shapes to make his painting look 3 Dimensional. How did he do that?
- overlapped things
- warm colors brought items forward
- cool colors took things back
- mostly concerned with shape color

What shapes do you see? He always used cubes, cones, cylinders. Do you see any of these shapes in your classroom?

Cezanne was a perfectionist. What does this mean? He worked on a painting until he was satisfied. He spent a lot of time arranging the objects. Once he painted a portrait of a friend and re-did it 115 times! Until he thought it was perfect.

How does this painting make you feel?

Where would you hang it? This was a neat way to end the discussion. They said all sorts of places, bedrooms, hallways, office, living room but most thought the kitchen was a great place due to the pears.

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