Madame Cézanne

Dita Amory; With essays by Philippe Cézanne, Anne Dumas, Charlotte Hale, Kathryn Kremnitzer, Marjorie Shelley, and Hilary Spurling

View Inside Price: $45.00


December 16, 2014
240 pages, 8 1/2 x 9 1/2
168 color + 24 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300208108
Cloth

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press

A new account of Cézanne’s complex relationship with his wife, who served as the subject of some of his most iconic portraits

Paul Cézanne’s (1839–1906) portraits of Hortense Fiquet (1850–1922), his wife and the subject of some of his iconic portraits, rank among the most powerful of their kind in French modernism. Yet, posterity has not been kind to Madame Cézanne. She was called a distraction, blamed for her husband’s “lackluster” landscapes, and disdained for her impenetrable expression in the paintings. The reality is more complex, for while Fiquet may not have been the passion of Cézanne’s lifetime, she was a willing accomplice, as model, mother of his only son, and unwavering partner against all odds.

Madame Cézanne examines this unique relationship as it looks at Cézanne the painter, draftsman, and portraitist. Featuring 24 of Cézanne’s oil portraits of Fiquet and most of the known drawings, Madame Cézanne both reevaluates, with insight and compassion, the long-held misconceptions about the Cézannes’ unconventional marriage, and shows how Cézanne’s portraits of his wife provide a lens through which to better understand his overall technique.

Dita Amory is acting associate curator-in-charge, Robert Lehman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(11/18/14–03/15/15)

‘…the brilliant catalogue, which accompanies a new exhibition of Cezanne’s many portraits of his wife running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, until 15 March, is both an academic tour de force and a moving and scrupulous account of their often challenging relationship.’—Michael Glover, The Tablet