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Le Sang Provençal: Joachim Gasquet’s Cézanne

By Jon Kear


This article examines Joachim Gasquet’s biography of Cézanne, which has been a hugely influential text on the scholarship on the painter, purporting as it does to provide first hand evidence of the painter’s views about painting from a source close to him in his native Provence, where he lived and worked. Gasquet’s book thereby appears to compensate for the painter’s own reluctance to discuss his theories of art with his interlocutors. It is also a book that has acquired renewed relevance as Cézanne interpreters begin to reassess his work and emphasise the importance of the context of Provençal traditions and in particular the painter’s engagement with the Provençal regionalist movement, the Félibrige, of which Gasquet was a leading poet and member. The article seeks to reassess our understanding of Gasquet’s text at a key moment of reorientation in the study of Cézanne. Through a meticulous examination of Cézanne’s correspondence it reveals the close relationship and artistic affinities between the painter and the poet, refuting the criticism that Gasquet exaggerated the nature of his friendship with the artist

Topics: PQ, ND
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1177/004724410203212504
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