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.(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
Nancy Ireson and Barnaby Wright, eds., Cezanne’s Card Players. London: The Courtauld Gallery, 2010.
Cézanne and French Painting. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Museum of Art, 1934.
Art in New England: Paintings, Drawings, Prints from Private Collections in New England. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1939.
Agnes Mongan, One Hundred Master Drawings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1949.
The Practice of Drawing. Worcester, MA: Worcester Art Museum, 1952.
Cézanne. Providence: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1954.
French Drawings from American Collections, Clouet to Matisse: A Special Loan Exhibition. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1959.
Cézanne: An Exhibition in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Phillips Collection. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1971.
John Rewald, Paul Cézanne: The Watercolors, A Catalogue Raisonné. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1983.
Anthony Bertram, Paul Cézanne, 1839-1906. London: The Studio, 1929.
Lionello Venturi, Cézanne: son art, son oeuvre. Paris: Paul Rosenberg, 1936.
Regina Shoolman and Charles E. Slatkin, Six Centuries of French Master Drawings in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1950.
Alfred Neumeyer, Cézanne Drawings. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1958.
Paul J. Sachs, Modern Prints and Drawings: A Guide to a Better Understanding of Modern Draughtsmanship. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1954.
Ira Moskowitz, Great Drawings of All Time. New York: Shorewood Publishers, 1962.
Kurt Badt, The Art of Cézanne. Berkeley: University of California, 1965.
Gilles Plazy, Cézanne. Paris: Chene, 1991.
Françoise Cachin, Isabelle Cahn, Walter Feilchenfeldt, Henri Loyrette, and Joseph J. Rishel, Cézanne. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995.