Does the right corner of the table line up with the left corner? Cézanne’s chief concern was not what he painted but how he painted. In this still life Cézanne depicts everyday objects in an intriguing way. The circular, yellow fruit in the foreground seems to float in space. The white tablecloth is painted with a myriad of colors. The table seems to tilt forward at an impossible angle.
Cézanne painted still lifes of objects in his studio again and again. He knew his subject matter would not surprise the viewer. Cézanne hoped to impress the viewer through his use of color, form, and multiple perspectives. Cézanne said, “[I will] astonish Paris with an apple.”1 He was interested in showing what he observed in the world around him. He hoped his paintings would help viewers see the world in a different way.
1Artist Paul Cézanne, in Gustave Geffroy, Claude Monet: Sa vie, son oeuvre (Paris: G. Crès, 1922), 106