Abstract Canvas Prints No 74 : Quivering Effervescence
The combination of looking at a subject from more than one angle while attempting to unify a design led to a flattening of the image.
By tilting the table-top towards the viewer, Cézanne is increasing the amount of visual information being provided at the expense of the illusion of three-dimensional space.
So, having dispensed with the illusionary ‘box of air’ in which to set his composition, he concentrated on presenting a holistic image.
For Cézanne, the painting’s individual elements and colours are like musical notes that he has painstakingly arranged to produce one harmonious sound: his every brushstroke leading to, and working in concert with, the next.
It is an approach that requires a fair amount of planning.
Each apple, each fold in the material, is the result of a decision made during a period of meticulous preparation by an artist looking to create a reasonable, rational composition.
The colours of the objects and how they match, mirror and compliment one another have all been carefully considered by a man who, like Seurat, was no slouch when it came to colour theory.
He has applied unblended patches of warm and cool colours that sit side-by-side transmitting a quivering effervescence.
Blue (cold) and yellow (warm) are diametrical opposites on the colour wheel, and in the wrong hands would present a horribly jarring image.
But when applied with Cézanne’s skill, a contrasting canvas emerges that radiates with a compelling richness.
The two colours appear together throughout Still Life with Apples and Peaches in a series of echoes.
There are the great swathes of blue and yellow patterned material, the delicate blue decorations on the vase against which the yellow apples lean; and then there are the small dabs of the same tone of blue that Cézanne has added to the tabletop.
These subtle marks compliment not only the fruit, but also the table’s front panel, the wood of which has been transformed into a warm yellow-brown by the gentle caress of a late summer sun.