Man in a Room (1890) by Paul Cezanne

Man in a Room - Paul Cezanne - 1890

Artwork Information

TitleMan in a Room
ArtistPaul Cezanne
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions31 1/2 x 22 1/2 in. (80 x 57.2 cm)
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationBarnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, US

About Man in a Room

The artwork titled “Man in a Room,” created by Paul Cezanne in 1890, is an oil on canvas painting that resides within the stylistic boundaries of Post-Impressionism. This portrait has dimensions of 31 1/2 by 22 1/2 inches (80 x 57.2 cm) and is part of the collection at the Barnes Foundation, located in Philadelphia, PA, United States.

In examining the artwork, one observes a figure that appears to be a middle-aged man standing in a room. The man is depicted in full length, his stance frontal and somewhat informal with his arms crossed, potentially conveying a relaxed or contemplative mood. Cezanne’s use of color reflects the Post-Impressionist movement’s interest in creating form through tonal variation rather than through a more traditional chiaroscuro technique. The colors are relatively muted, with an emphasis on earth tones in the man’s clothing and soft blues and grays comprising the background space, which includes a door or window frame to his side.

The artist’s brushwork is visible and dynamic, contributing to a textured surface that adds depth and a tactile quality to the composition. There is a departure from precise realism, a characteristic hallmark of Post-Impressionism, where the subject’s essence is captured through more abstract means. In terms of proportions and perspective, the figure exhibits Cezanne’s unique approach to form, which would later influence the development of modern art. The figure’s position in the space, combined with the skewed perspective of the room, creates a sense of intimacy with the subject while also insinuating a divergence from the norms of perspective drawing established during the Renaissance. Overall, the artwork is characteristic of Cezanne’s contribution to the foundation of modern art, straddling the line between the representational and the abstract.

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