Paul Cézanne: The Father of Modern Art

Temple University

Matthew Palczynski holds a Ph.D. in art history and has been teaching at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art since 2004, where his focus is on vanguard art post-1850. He has lectured extensively at colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, and for organizations such as The Barnes Foundation, Road Scholar, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.



January 19, 2023, 4:00 pm

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Paul Cézanne is among the most celebrated painters in the canon. As Henri Matisse noted: “In modern art, it is undoubtedly to Cézanne that I owe the most.” With his portraits, still-lives, and landscapes, he sought to – as he famously quipped – “treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone.” Cézanne’s work bridged the gap between Impressionism and the pioneering developments in the School of Paris during the first decade of the 20th century. Discover why Pablo Picasso believed he was “the father of us all,” and how his remarkable paintings had such a profound impact on generations of artists.


Recommended Reading:

Cézanne and Beyond, ex. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009

Cézanne: A Life, by Alex Danchev

The Letters of Paul Cézanne, by Alex Danchev


Discussion Questions:

1. In which ways was Cézanne an innovator?

2. How did Picasso, Matisse, and other artists respond to his work?

3. What are some of Cézanne’s most important works?


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