Cézanne Portraits, Exhibition Catalog

About the Exhibition

On view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from March 25 to July 1, 2018, Cézanne Portraits is the first exhibition devoted to the famed post-impressionist’s portraits. This revelatory exhibition brings together some 60 examples drawn from collections around the world. Several paintings are exclusive to the National Gallery of Art presentation, while some works have never before been exhibited in the United States.

Cézanne Portraits, Exhibition Catalog

# 027395P

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John Elderfield with Mary Morton and Xavier Ray; Contributions by Alex Danchev and Jayne S. Warman

Accompanying the National Gallery of Art exhibition Cézanne Portraits, this catalog represents a major new study of the portraiture of one of the most important artists of the 19th century.


Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) may be best known for his landscapes, but he also painted some 160 portraits throughout his exceptional career. This major work establishes portraiture as an essential practice for Cézanne, from his earliest self-portraits in the 1860s; to his famous depictions of figures including his wife Hortense Fiquet, the writer Émile Zola, and the art dealer Ambroise Vollard; and concluding with a poignant series of portraits of his gardener Vallier, made shortly before Cézanne’s death.


Featured essays by leading experts explore the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne’s portraits. The authors address the artist’s creation of complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject, as well as the role of self-portraiture for Cézanne. They investigate the chronological evolution of his portrait work, with an examination of the changes that occurred within his artistic style and method, and in his understanding of resemblance and identity. They also consider the extent to which particular sitters influenced the characteristics and development of Cézanne’s practice.


Beautifully illustrated with works of art drawn from public and private collections around the world, Cézanne Portraits presents an astonishingly broad range of images that reveal the most personal and human qualities of this remarkable artist.

  • Available in hardcover and softcover
  • 10 x 12 inches
  • 256 pages, 180 color illustrations
  • Published 2017

Editorial Reviews

"To accompany the groundbreaking exhibition of portraits by the Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne . . . comes this scholarly, handsome volume. Organized by date and subject matter, it contains images of some of his most important work, in a field that’s been largely overlooked, considering his influence on later artists. A chapter with photographs of Cézanne and some of the people most important in his life is a nice touch." —Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The first book to take on Cézanne's portraits as a whole, this very impressive and important volume will be of interest to specialists and nonspecialists alike. It is superbly written and makes a significant contribution to Cézanne scholarship." —Matthew Simms, author of Cézanne's Watercolors

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