A new high-definition television documentary, Cézanne in Provence, explores the deep connection between post-impressionist master Paul Cézanne — credited by many as the father of modern art — and his native Provence, illuminating how the region and its history fostered the painter’s genius. Featuring footage of some of the same locales made timeless by Cézanne and his work, Cézanne in Provence was inspired by the major international exhibition of the same name.
Offering expert commentary in the film, the National Gallery of Art’s senior curator for European paintings and curator of French paintings provides insights into Cézanne’s work and discusses formative influences. Cézanne in Provence also delves into the artist’s life in the South of France, from his birth in 1839, through a vital and intensely creative adulthood, to his death in 1906 — one hundred years ago.
The film highlights Provençal locations that were pivotal in Cézanne's life, among them his family’s imposing country estate, the Jas de Bouffan, a fundamental presence in his memory and development; as well as the Bibémus quarry, depicted in evocative paintings of great power; and the Atelier des Lauves, the mountaintop studio Cézanne built to afford himself stunning views of his beloved Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which many consider his signature motif.
Cézanne in Provence is inspired by the exhibition Cézanne in Provence, which is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Musée Granet and Communauté du Pays d'Aix, Aix-en-Provence, and the Reunion des musées nationaux, Paris.
Cézanne in Provence premieres July 31, 2006 on PBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.