Cezanne At The Tate Modern

In Tate Modern in London, at the Cezanne exhibition. Galleries are lovely places to photograph people engaged in what they are doing. The painting is The Gulf of Marseille seen from L’Estaque. The text reads

With its view across the sea to Marseille, this landscape and the other works in this room demonstrate the flattening planes of colour Cezanne described by letter to Pissarro. This work belonged to the impressionist artist Gustave Caillebotte, who bequeathed his collection, including five paintings by Cezanne. to the French state. Following difficult negotiations between the reluctant representatives of the government and Caillebotte’s estate, only two our of five works by Cezanne, including this one, were accepted into the national collection in 1896.

The ‘reluctant representatives of the government’ – seems to show that they didn’t like Cezanne’s work. Caillebotte died in 1894 and it was not until 1897 that Cezanne sold his first picture to a museum.

In 1897 Hugo von Tschudi bought Cézanne’s landscape painting The Mill on the Couleuvre near Pontoise in the Durand-Ruel Gallery for the Berlin National Gallery.

So I guess the ‘reluctant representatives of the government’ later wished they had taken the other three Cezanne paintings.

So What Did You Think Of The Exhibition?

It was advertised as a blockbuster, but there are so many of Cezanne’s landscapes that were not in the exhibition. Some apples in bowls on tables, some people, and a big hole where his best work could have been.

That said, I loved Still Life With Apples and Peaches that he painted the year before his death. This photograph cannot do justice to the original. The painting is so well composed, the light and shade, the tones, the whole thing is just wrapped up in a wonderful bundle of completeness.


  1. JenT says:

    A favorite of mine, too. I worry about the climate activists, though. So many beloved “targets”. Frankly their actions turn me off to this very serious issue and I’m sure that isn’t their intention. What do think they hope to gain?


    1. Extinction Rebellion has been around for three or four years and nearly all of their protests have been ‘sit downs’. Just Stop Oil has, as you say, attacked paintings, and they have also sprayed orange paint on buildings occupied by Conservative think-tanks, oil companies, and others. Many people are in favour of a responsible objection to a free-for-all with polluting fuels, but against damage to buildings and works of art. I think perhaps some of the activists are dupes of whoever owns the website – they could be anybody. There is no way to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. JenT says:

        That’s very true, and yet given the nature of these “protests” I wonder why museums don’t require visitors to check their bags and backpacks at the cloakroom.

        The other day I was at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (TAMA) and while I was walking around admiring the Archipenko paintings/sculptures I spotted a young person with a huge backpack, walking quickly up to each one and photographing not only the painting, but also the description and then moving on. It wasn’t usual museum behavior and the result was that I became suspicious. So these “protests” have also changed my experience of museum-going.


        1. I just googled Archipenko images –

          Museums in the UK do look in packs, but not every pack and not every person. Now as a consequence of the Van Gogh attack tins of soup have become offensive weapons. What happens when an innocent visitor visits a museum on the way home after shopping for their evening meal?

          Liked by 1 person

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