A table, a chest of drawers, a tall ladder, an easel, a pot belly stove, a few chairs, and a stool… The only furniture in Paul Cézanne’s studio are those that once posed for his still-lifes.
An olive jar and a coffee pot, a series of Provençal vases, a faded wicker basket, a plate, a glass, a bottle of rum, three skulls, a cupid statue made by Francois Dusquenoy… All are still where they had been placed by the artist to be immortalized on canvas.
Aix-born painter Paul Cézanne, considered one of the most influential Post-Impressionist artists of the twentieth-century, worked every morning in his studio in the hills north of Aix, and his workshop is steeped in his personality. Cézanne’s painting materials, many of his personal belongings, and objects from his still-lifes remain where they were left, as though the artist had just stepped out for a stroll.
Objects penetrate each other… They do not stop living… They are spread imperceptibly around themselves by intimate reflections, like we are by our regard and our words. — Paul Cézanne
This week, AUCP Summer students will discover Cézanne’s studio on a course-related field trip. French class will once again move out of the classroom into the field, on a creative writing assignment based on the five senses. Using perception-related vocabulary previously studied in class, students will be asked to focus on the five senses to feel and then describe a moment in Cézanne’s studio or its garden.
More than a museum, Cézanne’s studio is a place of memory marked by the spirit of Aix’s native son and the father of modern art. What better a place to absorb the art of living and the living culture of France?