Self-Portrait with Palette (1885-1887) by Paul Cezanne

Self-Portrait with Palette - Paul Cezanne - c.1890

Artwork Information

TitleSelf-Portrait with Palette
ArtistPaul Cezanne
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions92 x 73 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationE.G. Bührle Foundation, Zürich, Switzerland

About Self-Portrait with Palette

The artwork “Self-Portrait with Palette,” painted circa 1890 by Paul Cézanne, embodies the post-impressionistic approach of its creator. This oil on canvas measures 92 by 73 centimeters and presents the artist’s self-representation in the genre of portraiture. Currently housed at the E.G. Bührle Foundation in Zürich, Switzerland, this work delineates Cézanne’s introspective examination as articulated through post-impressionistic means.

In the artwork, Cézanne is depicted against a backdrop that fuses indeterminate forms and colors, a technique characteristic of his style which breaks from the traditional narrative of concrete settings. The artist portrays himself in a somber palette, with the dark tones of his clothes sharply contrasting against the softer, lighter hues of the background. Cézanne’s visage is rendered with firm, delineated strokes, his facial features conveying a sense of frankness and direct engagement with the viewer.

Positioned to the right is the artist’s easel, a testament to his vocation and an intrinsic element within the self-portrait genre. In his hand, Cézanne holds a painter’s palette, laden with daubs of color and a brush, further emphasizing his identity as a painter and his dedication to the craft. The dense application of paint and the dynamic brushwork that animates the surface of the canvas exemplifies Cézanne’s influence on the subsequent development of modern art. The artwork, thus, serves not only as a personal testament from the artist but also as a profound contribution to the evolution of painting aesthetics at the dawn of the 20th century.

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