Still Life with Apples
Paul Cézanne, French, Still Life with Apples, ca. 1878, Oil on canvas; 23.2 x 39.7 cm (9 1/8 x 15 5/8 inches), Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 41.012
Paul Cézanne’s lifelong efforts to perfect the representation of form frequently led him to depict apples. Easily rearranged in simple configurations or in elaborate still lifes, their solidity, disappearing edges, and internal color shifts made them ideal subjects for his firm, patchy brushstrokes. In this small painting he has arranged eight apples of various sizes and shapes on the woven-rush seat of a provincial chair. Nestled together on the irregular ground, they catch light from the left and cast two long fingerlike shadows at far right. Cézanne emphasizes their roundness and separateness by outlining each apple, faceting their curved inner surfaces with brilliant lozenges of color that suggest volume and weight.