Google has one of its special mastheads today, and I almost missed it. It is in celebration of Paul Cézanne’s 172nd birthday. Alas while I like the masthead, I don’t much care for Cézanne’s paintings. Too murky for my tastes, I go for more realism.
I did an image search and I could not really find a favorite painting. I chose to add this one because it is obviously one of the paintings used in the masthead.
|Cherries and Peaches|
If I had to really answer which is my favorite Paul Cézanne painting…it would have to be the one below, because being the lecherous old bastard that I am, I like what is going on in the painting, although I can’t say that I am too crazy about the painting itself. The painting is Afternoon in Naples. Trying to ignore the murky sloppiness of it, the painting does have a tender eroticism that appeals to me. I like the woman’s right arm on the man’s back and her left hand on his shoulder. They appear to be having a rather delightful time…well afternoon delight is rather delightful, is it not?
|Afternoon In Naples|
The poorly clad servant is something of a curiosity. Why such skimpy garb? I find the apparent abandon of the couple, no effort to cover themselves or their relationship from the servant to be rather charming. I am not sure how the servant feels about it, but there is something captivating about this couple shamelessly embraced while the servant delivers refreshment.
You can learn more about Paul Cézanne at Wikipedia and perhaps come to understand why he is considered the bridge between Impressionism and Cubism, the appreciation of which lays beyond my meager abilities.
Wikipedia, Paul Cezanne
You can see some more of Cézanne’s work at Carol Gerten’s Fine Art which has about 20 works. They are good quality scans.
Carol Gerten Fine Art, Paul Cezzane Index
According to this article, this is the first Google doodle that started out as an oil painting and then digitized. It also explains the importance of Cézanne to the modern movement. Picasso called him "the father of us all." Well there is confirmation of my apathy for Cézanne's work.
Christian Science Monitor, Paul Cezanne, The Man Behind Today's Google Doodle
There is a nice description of Afternoon In Naples and the history of its revisions here:
National Gallery of Australia, Cezanne, Afternoon in Naples
Carol Gerten Fine Art, Cezanne, Cherries and Peaches
Carol Gerten Fine Art, Cezzane, Afternoon in Naples