Philip Callow

Lost Earth

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Only now can we see Paul Cézanne as the invisible genius at the very inception of modern art. Recent exhibitions of his early works reveal an artist very different from the serene landscapist we thought we knew. What was it that made these disturbingly dark and troubled paintings, with their violence and psychological truth, as important to him as, later, his huge series of bathers, an obsession with the nude that continued to the end? With the last full-length biography written more than a quarter century ago, the demand for a new life of Cézanne has never been greater. In Lost Earth, Philip Callow delivers it brilliantly. Using contemporary sources, exceptional biographical skills, and a poetic prose, Callow finds beneath an outwardly uneventful life a wealth of anguish and bitter struggle to overcome personal inadequacies and the insults of the critical community. For all of Cézanne's weakness and despair, Lost Earth is the story of a transcendent artist who was passionately committed to a tradition he would one day transform. Callow examines with fresh insights Cézanne's profound friendship with Émile Zola, his ingrained fear of women, his love of the outdoors that enabled him to paint the universe in an apple. Lost Earth gets to the heart of the great painter. With 8 pages of photographs and color plates.
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674 printed pages
Original publication
2003
Publisher
Ivan R. Dee

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