National centenary celebrations – 1839-2006. “The primitive of a new art”, as he defined himself, Paul Cézanne saw his art bloom in the land of his origins, as he finally returned to settle in Aix in the wild landscapes of his childhood.
Cézanne in Provence
He paid homage to the beauty of Provence’s natural sites, and succeeded, in images that are pivotal in the history of Western artistic expression, in associating forever a unique place with a body of work of genius.
From 9 June to 17 September, the major event of this “Year of Cézanne” will be the exhibition at the Granet museum, which will bring together works by the artist from all over the world. The museum will reopen for this unique occasion after four years of renovation. The exhibition space will increase from 700 to 4000 m2, prefiguring its final configuration , when the permanent collections will be presented in their entirety.
A programme of introduction to Cézanne will be presented as a foretaste of the exhibition opening in June. Seminars, conferences and exhibitions will show Cézanne in the context of his period and explain his key contribution to painting. The landscapes around Aix, marked by the passage of Cézanne, will be specially arranged so that visitors can understand his pictorial works in their original natural setting, seeing the sites through the artist’s eyes:
– the Jas de Bouffan, a mansion owned by the Cézanne family from 1859 to 1899.
– the Lauves studio, built on land bought in 1901, planted with olive and fig trees on the banks of the Verdon canal.
– the Bibémus quarries, with their spectacular yellow ochre décor and geometrical shapes.
– The sites of the Cézanne route to Tholonet and the Sainte-Victoire, the Pont des Trois Sautets, the “painting site”.
– Gardanne, where the artist stayed during the winter of 1885-1886.
– L’Estaque, scene of many more stays between 1869 and 1890.
During the centenary celebrations, local and international artists are invited to come and work in these favourite places of Cézanne’s.
A variety of other exhibitions will be presented, placing Cézanne’s work in context: presenting the “Provençal school”, introducing the artist’s contemporaries and the artistic life of the period.