R216 – Femme allaitant son enfant, vers 1872 (FWN618)

R230 – Jeune fille aux cheveux dénoués, 1873-1874 (FWN627)

Pavel Machotka

(Cliquer sur l’image pour l’agrandir)

Femme allaitant son enfant
vers 1872

Jeune fille aux cheveux dénoués
R230 – FWN627










Cézanne is often viewed as a painter distant from his sitters, on the evidence of his insistence that they sit as still as apples, but it would be more exact to recognize that he was distant from some models and quite close to others (in portraits of his young son, for example). For an affectionate example of tenderness toward both a mother and child, one has but to look at a very small picture (22 x 22cm) of a woman nursing, which probably portrays Hortense and little Paul shortly after his birth in 1872; it is unstudied and intimate, graceful in expression and tender in the oval of the enclosing arms. Equally tender is an even smaller picture, Jeune fille aux cheveux dénoués, which Rewald believes may be of Hortense as well[1]; it, too, is tender and unself-conscious in style. Until 1877, a year in which Cézanne paints most of his paintings with an emphasis on surface rhythms, he exempts portraits from the discipline of style, and even afterwards, when various systematic touches come to dominate his paintings, portraits are the least affected.

[1] Rewald, PPC, Vol. 1, p. 58.

Source: Machotka, Cézanne: the Eye and the Mind.