Pommes et biscuits

Paul Cézanne
Pommes et biscuits
en 1880
huile sur toile
H. 45 ; L. 55 cm avec cadre H. 79 ; L. 87,5 ; P. 14,5 cm
15000
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de l'Orangerie) / Hervé Lewandowski
Paul Cézanne (1839 - 1906)

This painting is one of Paul Cézanne’s most stunning masterpieces and one of the symbols of his great mastery of still life painting. Domenica Walter paid a vast sum for it in 1952. This sensational purchase attracted public attention both to her and to her magnificent collection.
Here Cézanne created a very balanced composition with just a plate and a few apples arranged on a chest. His experiments into stylising forms and expressing volume through colour are fully developed in this painting. In fact Cézanne painted many still lifes at a time when this was considered a minor genre and was rather neglected. He wanted to restore its prestige and "to conquer Paris with an apple". For Cézanne, the pure form of this fruit was a poetic symbol. It also alludes to his great friendship with Emile Zola (1840-1902), the future writer and journalist, and an old school friend, who once gave Cézanne some apples as thanks for a favour.