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  • Cézanne and the Past

    Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
    26 October 2012 – 17 February 2013

    Cézanne: The Card Players, 1890–92. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

    Between 2003 and 2008 the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest staged several important exhibitions showcasing the oeuvres of great nineteenth-century masters (Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Ferdinand Hodler and Gustave Moreau) and exploring the influence their work exerted on the development of Modern art. In our exhibition we wish to present an overview of Paul Cézanne’s oeuvre and his approach to the past through some eighty to one hundred paintings, drawings and watercolours by the artist supplemented by thirty to forty works (paintings, sculptures, gypsum copies, prints and illuminated books) by sixteenth-nineteenth-century masters.

    Paul Cézanne was a complex master who said: “I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums”. He regularly visited the museum in the small rural town of Aix-en-Provence, and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, while his own collection of prints, reproductions, and gypsum copies served as constant sources of inspiration for his art. Cézanne drew on Classical Antiquity, the Renaissance, Mannerism, the Baroque and Romanticism throughout his career and our exhibition seeks to find an answer to the hows and whys of this. The exhibition Cézanne and the Past: Tradition and Creativity will provide an insight into the development of the master’s entire oeuvre.

    Loans to the Budapest exhibition contributed by Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie and Petit Palais in Paris, Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kunstmuseum Bern, the Beyeler Collection in Basel, Kunsthaus Zürich, the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, the National Gallery and the British Museum in London, Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal, the Albertina in Vienna, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Pierpont-Morgan Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago as well as by the owners of many world famous private collections (Basel, Zurich, Frankfurt).

    The exhibition catalogue published in Hungarian and in English. Its authors include leading scholars of Cézanne research from Great Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland. The researchers of the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the staff members of the Department of Art after 1800 and of ELTE University, Budapest also examine the twentieth-century manifestations of the art of the master from Aix-en-Provence in the context of Cézanne’s reception in Hungary and twentieth-century Hungarian cultural- and art history. In addition to exploring how Cézanne integrated the culture of Provence into his art along with the classical education of the provincial young man that he was and the art he saw in museums the exhibition and the catalogue seek to show visitors how out of the cogitations and struggles of an artist emerged the most significant painting oeuvre that triumphed over tradition and brought it under its control.

    Curator: Judit Geskó