Famous Artists and their Circles 8 : Paul Cézanne

Still life with apples and pears (1891-92), Paul Cézanne

You may wish to use this page along with Merry-Go-Round Booklet p.34: Apples, peaches, pears & plums : Merry-Go-Round booklet                  

Our lives are built around cycles, the repetition of the months of the year and our birthday being just one example of many – think of the hands moving round a clock face, the orbit of earth around the sun, the days of the week, or the growth of an apple from seed to fruit and back to seed. Cycles give us stability and routine.

Have you ever tried to draw or paint an apple? When artists copy an apple, or an arrangement of apples and other fruits and flowers in a vase or bowl, their work is called still life. A still life picture captures one moment in time, one part of a cycle, and preserves it for all time.

The French artist, Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), who is famous for his still life paintings, once said, “I want to astonish Paris with an apple!” What he meant was that he wanted to make people take a second look at the ordinary, everyday objects we take for granted, so he painted them in ways they had never been painted before.

In his painting The Basket of Apples (1895) everything looks topsy-turvy: the basket is propped up, the bottle is at a funny angle and the table top is tilted.

Each time you look at this work of art, focus on a different object and examine the detail closely.

Because of his innovative ideas Cézanne is known as ‘The father of modern art.’


Find out more:


Cezanne and the Apple Boy – Lawrence Anholt











Download a pdf version of this page : _Famous Artists and their Circles 8 Cezanne

Produced by An Lanntair as part of Full Circle Arts programme.  Funded through the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the European Social Fund.