The Card Player
The Card Player, ca. 1890-1892
Graphite and watercolor on paper
48.6 x 36.2 cm (19 1/8 x 14 1/4 inches)
Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 42.211
While living in Aix-en-Provence, Cézanne used local peasants as his models for a series of drawings and paintings of cardplayers. This preparatory sketch of a cardplayer in a blue smock relates to a finished painting now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In RISD’s drawing, Cézanne reduced the complex form of the human body to a pure graphic system. Eliminating any complicating details, Cézanne described the seated man by employing multiple, curved contour lines enriched with a system of delicately placed, softer diagonal hatchings. The viewer is obliged to read the areas of untouched paper in the figure as highlighted, volumetric form. The few discreet touches of blue watercolor indicate the color of the smock for the painting and add a hint of shadow and volume.
(June 5 –October 26, 2008)
Cézanne made five paintings depicting card players in the early 1890s, using peasants in the region of Aix-en-Provence as models. He made drawings after his own paintings between versions in order to strengthen and make adjustments to his compositions. The RISD sheet was likely copied after the oil painting now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In the drawing, Cézanne simplified the human form, eliminating unnecessary or complicating details. The viewer is forced to read the areas of untouched paper as lighted, volumetric form.(October 21, 2016 – June 11, 2017)
This drawing belongs to a series depicting card players, using men from the artist’s hometown as models. During the early 1890s, Cézanne made drawings from his own paintings on this subject, modifying and strengthening their compositions. Here, the man’s substantial form is conveyed almost entirely with spare, loosely sketched graphite lines. Light touches of watercolor highlight the blue of his smock and his ruddy cheeks, in contrast to the white expanse of the paper. The artist’s choice to focus on this man, excluding his partners in the game, underscores the subject’s intense and introspective focus.(August 19, 2005 – January 22, 2006)
Cézanne and Degas had met by the late 1860s in Paris at the Café Guerbois, where they engaged in lively, if sometimes antagonistic, discussions. They both worked outside mainstream Impressionism, and they were among the most knowledgeable about art history and the most well read of their artists’ group. More so than most of their colleagues, they gave prominence to drawing: life drawing, copying, and studies for paintings. This drawing, after a figure in Cézanne’s painting The Card Players, ca. 1890-92 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), was made in preparation for another version of the subject. As a modern portrait, it would have had particular appeal for Degas.
Their mutual regard was long-standing. Degas acquired one of the first collections of Cézanne’s work, most of it just after the first Cézanne retrospective exhibition, organized by Ambroise Vollard in 1895. At this very time, Cézanne was copying a work by Degas.
Edited ByWoolsey, Ann, ed.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeMonographs and CollectionsSelection VFrench Watercolors and Drawings, ca. 1800-1910
Contributions byChampa, Kermit S.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1975
TypeMonographs and CollectionsA Handbook of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Edited ByWoodward, Carla M., and Franklin W. Robinson, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1988
TypeMonographs and CollectionsFrom Dürer to Van GoghGifts from Eliza Greene Radeke and Helen Metcalf Danforth
Edited ByLiese, Jennifer, ed.
Contributions byEmily J. Peters
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeJournalsExchange Exhibition, Exhibition ExchangeFrom the Collection of Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; From the Collection of The Museum of Art, Rhode
Contributions byMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Waltham, MA: Rose Art Museum, Brandesi University., 1967
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