The painting “Young Girl at the Piano – Overture to Tannhauser” was created in 1869 by French artist Paul Cézanne during his dark period of painting. The oil on canvas piece is housed in the Hermitage Museum located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and is considered a liminal painting of both style and subject. It emerged from Cézanne’s vigorous couillarde essays of the 1860s, preceding the mutation into what is traditionally seen as his “mature” painting style.
The genre painting depicts a young girl sitting attentively at a piano, with her back facing the viewers. Her dress and hair are styled elegantly while she concentrates on playing music from Richard Wagner’s “Overture to Tannhäuser.” The background shows hints of furniture while providing ample space between it and the figure to give off an aura of calmness. Critics note that this emphasis on simplicity follows Realism movement principles prevalent during Cézanne’s time.
Due to its historical significance and artistic value, many art reproductions exist online for purchase or viewing for free. Analyzing this masterpiece allows art enthusiasts to witness how Cézanne’s paintings transitioned before his mature style developed fully later on in life.