Paul Cézanne painted Apples and Oranges in oil on canvas around 1899. This painting is part of the Musée d’Orsay collection in Paris.
What is depicted in the Apples and Oranges?
The painting shows a table completely covered with a total of three draperies. Two multi-colored ones are positioned on the left and right, while the central segment of the composition is occupied by a white fabric around which stand a jug and a bowl with oranges and apples.
Apples and Oranges – Analysis
Still life was a very important part of Cézanne’s work. The inventive and revolutionary principles that Cézanne introduced to still life painting can be traced through his relationship to perspective, line, and color. In the domain of perspective, Cézanne made changes that would greatly influence the later development of modern painting. He refined the default concept of linear perspective by introducing the idea of simultaneous observation of objects from several points. Relying on the theory of inverse perspective, Cézanne strove to provide as much information as possible about the presented subject. In structuring the scene, Cézanne minimized the role of the line. Although drawing was very important in Cézanne’s detailed preparation for each composition, the scene ultimately rests on the complex relationship of colors. Thus, the line in the scene was replaced by a combination of colored fields arranged according to the idea of complementarity. The complementarity of colors is the key element of Cézanne’s complex palette. Cézanne achieved harmony in both still lifes and landscapes by modulating painted surfaces based on the combination of warm and cold tones.
A year before Apples and Oranges, Paul Cézanne painted a compositionally related painting, Still Life with a Curtain. Still Life with a Curtain was created around 1898 in the oil on canvas technique, is part of the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.