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Cézanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings

12 July — 18 October 2020

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With their radiant colours and rugged forms, Paul Cézanne’s paintings of the rocky landscapes of his native France are among the most extraordinary of his career. This is the first exhibition to focus on this body of work.

Around 1869 Paul Cézanne said to his young friend, the poet Joachim Gasquet, “To paint a landscape well, I must first discover its geological foundations”. His fascination with rock formations led to some of his most remarkable paintings and watercolours.

Cézanne was drawn to areas of France notable for their rocky terrain, from the ancient Forest of Fontainebleau to the golden stone and shimmering heat of the abandoned Bibémus Quarry in Provence.

Based on new research, this focused exhibition brings together works in which rocks are the central motif, several of which have not been seen together before. It contrasts the robust presence of the rocks in the oil paintings with the ethereal, almost abstract shapes in the watercolours. The late paintings are among his greatest and most profoundly moving works.

Exhibition organised by the Princeton University Art Museum, in association with the Royal Academy of Arts, London.


12 July — 18 October 2020

Daily 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

£16 (without donation £14). Concessions available. Under-16s go free with a fee-paying adult. Free for Friends of the RA with no booking required.

The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

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