Fathers of Modern Art: Manet and Cézanne
Dr Charlotte de Mille
Summer School – Online
Monday 19 – Friday 23 July 2021
For the French art historian and critic Louis Gonse, “Manet [was] a point of departure, the symptomatic precursor of a revolution”. For Picasso, “Cézanne was like the father of us all”. But Manet himself stated that he had “no intention of overthrowing old methods of painting, or creating new ones”, and Cézanne’s later period as a recluse in Provence removed him from direct engagement with the younger generation. This course explores the almost mythic quality with which artists and critics viewed Manet and Cézanne. It teases out points of continuity and innovation, addressing central topics of landscape, still life, materiality, and representation, as well as less obvious connections, for example the musical soirées of the society Le Petit Bayreuth. The course ends with an examination of the legacies of both Manet and Cézanne, paying critical attention to Clement Greenberg’s famous description of Cézanne as “the gateway to contemporary painting”.