Analysis of Still Life with Apples and Oranges by Paul Cezanne Essay

Analysis of Still Life with Apples and Oranges by Paul Cezanne Essay

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This assignment will provide an analysis of the Modernist artwork of Paul Cezanné's, Still-Life with Apples and Oranges (c.1899) within the art movement of Impressionism. The analysis will be based upon the aesthetic and ideological underpinnings of the avant-garde. This will be done with reference to the writings of Charles Harrison and Clement Greenberg. Firstly, Modernism and the avant-garde will be discussed as defined by Harrison and Greenberg as the introduction to the discussion of the chosen artwork of Cezanné, followed by the analysis of the artwork with reference to the writings and how Cezanné's artwork and artistic characteristics and personal views attribute to Still-Life with Apples and Oranges (c.1899) whilst being classified within the framework of Modernism.

Avant-garde is a term referred to works or concepts that are experimental and 'cutting-edge' concepts (Avant-garde:2014). In the purpose of this study, Cezanné was part of early 20th-century art world’s avant-garde known as Impressionism. Clement Greenberg (1909: 755), identifies Kant as the first philosopher to describe Modernism as a self-critical tendency as he was the first to criticize criticism in itself. A modernist is said to be seen as a kind of critic, who criticizes according to a specific set of values and ideas about the development of art, thus a modernist is not necessarily seen as a kind of artist (Harrison 1996:147).According to Greenberg, Modernism self-criticizes itself differently when compared to the Enlightenment as the Enlightenment criticizes from the outside whereas Modernism does so from the inside (Greenberg 1909:755).

Greenberg states that the arts was in danger of being classified as entertainment. The only way arts would be...


... middle of paper ...


... 'pure' philosophy of Modernism (Greenberg 1909:757).

Through the exploration of Modernism as viewed by Charles Harrison and Clement Greenberg, the work Still-Life with Apples and Oranges (c.1899), by Paul Cézanne is identified within the framework of Impressionism. Through the characteristics of the Impressionist art movement and the artist himself, it is evident that the painting is thus a Modernist artwork through its reaction to classical theories of the Old Masters and the experimentation of the avant-garde as well as its parallels with the notions of the Modernists.


Works Cited

Trewin Copplestone, 1998. Paul Cezanne (Treasures of Art). First Edition Edition. Gramercy.

Eliza E. Rathbone, 2001. Impressionist Still Life. 1St Edition Edition. Harry N. Abrams.

Antonia Cunningham, 2001. Impressionists (Essential Art). 0 Edition. Parragon Plus.

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