Paul Cezanne was born in France. He was a Post-Impressionist painter. Cezanne’s work became very well known and it was admired by many people in the art world, he was soon recognised as one of the most important artists of the 19th century, and an inspiring force to Cubism. Cezanne began to paint elements of cubes, and cones, as well as using colour to highlight objects and its underlaying form.
Still life was very much neglected at the time and that was what really attracted Cezanne to it. Cezanne’s The Basket of Apples is painting that shows a scene that can be found in any household today, the items shown in the painting are very common but it is how they are placed that makes you think how and why he arranged them in that manner. The objects depicted in the painting are actually props that he got just to arrange and paint them, he did not have them just laying around in his house. The painting is of a basket full of fruit that has been slightly tipped over which has caused the fruit to spread all over the table, beside the basket theres a bottle of wine, a plate that is stacked with cookies or bread rolls and a table cloth that has been strategically crumbled or folded to look messy. When you look at the image as a whole you notice that the basket has been tipped over by what seems like a brick and the plate seems to be placed on a book to make it seem raised. The table itself does not seem to be straight if you look at the lines from the far edge of the table it doesn’t seem that the table is stable otherwise the lines would be straight. The table seems to be tipped more towards the left that the fruit look like they might start rolling over and falling down, even though each fruit is placed thoughtfully to make the painting more aesthetically pleasing. When you look at the bottle it seems like it too is slightly bent like its about to fall over and into the basket. What i find particularly interesting about this painting is that the only object that is perfectly placed, yet placed strangely is the cookies or bread rolls, they seem to be stacked which gives two different view points one from the side and one from the top. The whole painting has been careful thought out and arranged it cant be coincidence that the cookies are placed in such a manner with two different view points. It is truely amazing how Cezanne was able to depict objects from multiple viewpoints. When you look at the painting you can get a glimpse of how Cezanne was able to change his view point while painting its like he physically moved himself to have a different view and paint each perspective into one painting. The objects at the far right of the canvas are tilted toward the viewer standing at the center of the painting as if he were facing them from the left corner of the painting.The objects at the far left of the canvas are tilted toward the viewer as if he were facing them from the right corner This shows us how much of a genius Cezanne was and how much he was immersed into his artwork.When looking at the painting one could assume its a photograph as its painted in such a manner that he’s able to capture rather accurate perspectives. When you look at the bottle it has the smoothness of glass and when you look at the other objects in the painting they all look natural in texture with the help of the tiny strokes which create volume and structure.
When looking at the table cloth one must wonder why it isn’t laid as a tablecloth on a table, which leads to the conclusion that its there aesthetically, though if it were laid on the table the different perspectives of the image might not be as clear as the lines would be covering up the simultaneous viewpoints. The objects all stand out from all viewpoints even if the viewer is not standing in front of the painting.
“Cezanne’s still life objects appear as pictorial equivalents of the richness and variety go out one world. Few would deny that they exercise a powerful hold over the mind’ he said in his own words “render the image of what we see, forgetting everything that has existed before us.” (Cezanne 15)