Paul Cézanne - Madame Cezanne in the garden 1880

Madame Cezanne in the garden 1880
Madame Cezanne in the garden
1880 80x63cm oil/canvas
Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris

« previous picture | 1880s Cézanne Paintings | next picture »

From Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris:
Hortense Fiquet was a young model who initially lived with the painter and bore him a son in 1872, but whom he did not marry until 1886. This liaison was concealed from the Cézanne family for a long time. Hortense and her son were never really accepted by Cézanne’s family and friends. They were nicknamed “La boule” (the ball) and “Le boulet” (the little ball). We know of twenty-five portraits of Hortense by Cézanne. This one is a full-length portrait in an outdoor setting, which is quite unusual as he preferred closer framings and interiors with little extraneous detail. Cézanne took a freer approach when he painted those close to him, bringing his research into formal precision to the fore, thus giving the model a feeling of monumentality and permanence. As is often the case, Hortense’s face is expressionless. The work seems to be unfinished, the lower part is barely painted and a large area of the preparatory white layer is still visible. It was stopped at this point, something Cezanne frequently did to make clear his disdain for the “finish”.