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or Educational Gallery

Room 3-01

Paul Cézanne

Foliage (18951900), watercolor and pencil on paper.
Lillie P. Bliss Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Photograph Copyright © 1997 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Paul Cézanne is historically considered the father of much twentieth-century avant-garde art in that he devised a new manner of presenting subject matter. In this watercolor, deft touches and transparencies of color suggest form without delineating it. Cézanne's watercolors, even more than his oil paintings, convey the structure of form as a mosaic of color. Here shades of green, blue, red, and yellow--tenuously contained within pencil lines-- create a dynamic play between depth and surface. Upon closer inspection of Foliage there is no definitive sense of the subject: is it a depiction of a single plant, a branch, a bush, or a tree? Acquired in 1934, this work is mong the first drawings to enter the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.

Copyright © 1997 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The image and curatorial comments are from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, at the URL:

For an analysis of Cézanne's watercolor palette see the article published by Faith Zieske: An Investigation of Paul Cézanne's Watercolors With Emphasis on Emerald Green (The Book and Paper Group Annual, Volume 14, 1995).