Cézanne Portraits
John Elderfield
With Mary Morton & Xavier Ray
Contributions by Alex Danchev & Jayne S. Warman


A major new study of the portraiture of one of the most important artists of the nineteenth century

Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) may be best known for his landscapes, but he also painted some 160 portraits throughout his exceptional career. This major work establishes portraiture as an essential practice for Cézanne, from his earliest self-portraits in the 1860s; to his famous depictions of figures including his wife Hortense Fiquet, the writer Emile Zola, and the art dealer Ambroise Vollard; and concluding with a poignant series of portraits of his gardener Vallier, made shortly before Cézanne’s death.

Featured essays by leading experts explore the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne’s portraits. The authors address the artist’s creation of complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject, as well as the role of self-portraiture for Cézanne. They investigate the chronological evolution of his portrait work, with an examination of the changes that occurred within his artistic style and method, and in his understanding of resemblance and identity. They also consider the extent to which particular sitters influenced the characteristics and development of Cézanne’s practice.

Beautifully illustrated with works of art drawn from public and private collections around the world, Cézanne Portraits presents an astonishingly broad range of images that reveal the most personal and human qualities of this remarkable artist.

Exhibition Schedule:
Musée d’Orsay, Paris (June 13 to September 24, 2017)
National Portrait Gallery, London (October 26, 2017 to February 11, 2018)
National Gallery of Art, Washington (March 25 to July 1, 2018)

John Elderfield is chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. His many books include De Kooningand Henri Matisse. He is currently the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Distinguished Curator at the Princeton University Art Museum and lecturer in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology. Mary Morton is curator and head of the Department of French Painting at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Her books include GustaveCaillebotte. Xavier Rey is director of collections at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. His books include Degas and the Nude. Jayne S. Warman is a director of the Cézanne online catalogue raisonné. Alex Danchev (1955–2016) was professor of international relations at the University of St. Andrews. His books include Cézanne and The Letters of Paul Cézanne.