For an artist who died more than a century ago, Paul Cezanne has a way of feeling perpetually new. He was an artistic nomad, both within and outside the Impressionist movement du jour—and a literal one, too, shuffling between Paris and his native Aix-en-Provence. After his death in 1906, his name became a Modernist rallying cry, his works zealously collected by artists like Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro.
A new retrospective currently in transit from the Art Institute of Chicago (ending Sept. 5) to the Tate Modern (Oct. 5, 2022 to Mar. 12, 2023) builds on these truisms while illuminating less widely known biographical details about this iconoclastic artist. You’ll notice a big one right out of the gate: The exhibition spells Cezanne’s name without the accent over the first “E,” just as he signed it. The accented “É,” curators argue, would have been a holdover from a more urbane Parisian dialect; Cezanne’s own lack of written accent reflects his allegiance to the Provençal dialect of the era. (We’ll stylize the artist’s name the same way here.)
Below are 10 emblematic artworks by Cezanne included in the retrospective, as selected by exhibition curators.