By: Pavel Machotka
This book presents a new perspective on Paul Cezanne, one of the towering figures of 19th-century art. Pavel Machotka has photographed the sites of Cezanne's landscape paintings - whenever possibe from the same spot and at the same time of day that Cezanne painted the scenes. Juxtaposing these colour photographs with reproductions of the paintings, he offers a range of evidence to investigate how the painter transformed nature into works of art.
Machotka, himself an artist, moves from painting to painting, examining textures and surfaces, pictorial rhythms, and inflections of tone. As he analyzes Cezanne's treatment of individual sites, their transposition into forms and colours, and the artist's responsiveness to the demands of each composition, we begin to see Cezanne as he saw himself: not as an early Cubist but as a painter who explored his motif for its compositional potential and presented a parallel and faithful conception of it. Using colour to define form, while retaining hues that are anchored in reality, Cezanne achieved reconstructions rather than intellectual depictions like those of the Cubists.