Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Art Dept.


James M. Carpenter


The understanding and illustration of the most important formal principles in the work of Paul Cézanne was the object of my study, beginning with the approach to form of two other periods before Cézanne, in order to get a perspective view of his place in the time-stream of art. My study focuses on still life because of its expediency for handling in the studio and also because the still life painter is more directly involved with formal techniques of painting, including design and execution. He is more involved with how he paints than what he paints; he must interpret the dead visual facts of a still life set up into an independent expression of living art. Painters have found several equally valid solutions to this problem. In my own paintings I have traced the change of emphasis on various formal considerations, concentrating on three major phases: Vermeer, 17th century Dutch; Manet, 19th century French; and Cézanne, 19th century French. During these periods, the desire for experimentation with new concepts or techniques prompted artists to centralize theses concepts in a way which placed more emphasis on the style or manner of painting than on what was being painted. The Dutch, for example, had discovered light effects; the Impressionists, visual perception; and Cézanne, effective truth.


techniques, illustrations, Cézanne Paul, 1839-1906

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