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mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

The Stove in the Workshop

Paul Cézanne

The Stove in the Workshop - Paul Cézanne

oil on canvas
41cm x 30cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom
© The National Gallery, London

View this work in the exhibition Fire

The work

Cézanne, who at that juncture divided his time between the capital and his native Provence, was probably painting his Paris workshop. Here the artist paints a lifelike portrait of his daily routine, with the kettle pot heating on the stove while the back of the painting in progress leans against it. The first person to own this picture was Emile Zola, a childhood friend of the painter.

The artist

Born in Aix-en-Provence in the Var region of France in 1839, Paul Cézanne, a friend of Emile Zola, quickly abandoned his law studies to devote himself to painting. In Paris, where he moved in 1862, Cézanne met Pissarro, Renoir, Monet and Sisley. After a stint in Auvers-sur-Oise, he divided his time between Paris and Provence, where he painted his famous view of Sainte-Victoire. He died in 1906, just when he was finally enjoying some success. Despite his ties with the impressionists, Cézanne occupies his own niche: his thick, palette-knife applications of paint and rendering of nature "using cylinders, spheres and cones" would profoundly inspire the Cubist painters.