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Still Life with a Ginger Jar and Eggplants

Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence)

Date:
1893–94
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
28 1/2 x 36 in. (72.4 x 91.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960
Accession Number:
61.101.4
  • Gallery Label

    For this commanding still life, with its richly orchestrated play of overlapping shapes, patterns, colors, and textures, Cézanne relied on a stock of familiar objects. The raffia-corded ginger jar, for example, is featured in more than a dozen compositions, including three of comparable verve dating to the early 1890s.

  • Provenance

    [Ambroise Vollard, Paris, ca. 1899–1906, stock book A, no. 3559; bought from the artist for Fr 400; sold on May 4, 1906 for Fr 15,000 through Mary Cassatt to Havemeyer; deposited by Cassatt with Durand-Ruel on May 7 then shipped on May 11 to Havemeyer]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1906–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929; cat., 1931, p. 329); her son, Horace Havemeyer, New York (1929–48; consigned September 20, 1948 to Knoedler, no. CA-3141; sold in November to Clark); Stephen C. Clark, New York (1948–d. 1960)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. Durand-Ruel. "Loan Exhibition of French Masterpieces of the Late XIX Century," March 20–April 10, 1928, no. 4 (as "Nature morte," lent anonymously).

    New York. Century Association. "Trends in European Painting, 1880–1930," February 2–March 31, 1949, no. 6 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark, New York).

    New York. M. Knoedler & Co.. "A Collectors Taste: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen C. Clark," January 12–30, 1954, no. 13 (as "Nature morte").

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Great French Paintings: An Exhibition in Memory of Chauncey McCormick," January 20–February 20, 1955, no. 4 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark, New York).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Paintings from Private Collections," May 31–September 5, 1955, no. 20 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 1–September 1, 1958, no. 18 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 7–September 7, 1959, no. 11 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

    New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery. "Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture Collected by Yale Alumni," May 19–June 26, 1960, no. 78 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 6–September 4, 1960, no. 11 (as "Still Life," lent by Stephen C. Clark).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.

    Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 72 (as "Still Life with a Ginger Jar and Eggplants").

    Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 72.

    Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Cezanne: Gemälde," January 16–May 2, 1993, no. 59.

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life," May 21–August 26, 1997, unnumbered cat. (pl. 1).

    London. Hayward Gallery. "Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life," October 7, 1997–January 4, 1998, unnumbered cat. (pl. 1).

    Washington. Phillips Collection. "Impressionist Still Life," September 22, 2001–January 13, 2002, unnumbered cat. (pl. 83).

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Impressionist Still Life," February 17–June 9, 2002, unnumbered cat. (pl. 83).

    Williamstown, Mass. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. "The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings," June 4–September 4, 2006, no. 54.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 75.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings," May 22–August 19, 2007, no. 54.

    Lisbon. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. "A Perspectiva das Coisas. A Natureza-Morta na Europa," October 20, 2011–January 8, 2012, no. 1.

  • References

    "French Masters Shown at Durand-Ruel's." Art News 26 (March 24, 1928), p. 8, ill.

    H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 329.

    Lionello Venturi. Cézanne: son art—son oeuvre. Paris, 1936, vol. 1, pp. 57, 194, no. 597; vol. 2, pl. 193, no. 597, calls it "Nature morte" and dates it 1890–94.

    Robert J. Goldwater. "Cézanne in America: The Master's Paintings in American Collections." Art News Annual, section I (The 1938 Annual), 36 (March 26, 1938), p. 160, ill. p. 140.

    R. E. Turpin. "Cézanne Still Dominates the Era He Launched." New York Times Magazine (January 15, 1939), ill. p. 7, erroneously locates it in the Durand-Ruel Collection.

    B. K. "Reviews and Previews: Trends in Modern Painting." Art News 47 (February 1949), p. 44, ill., erroneously claims that this picture has never before been exhibited publicly.

    Introduction by Alfred H. Barr Jr. "Paintings from Private Collections." Museum of Modern Art Bulletin 22 (Summer 1955), pp. 11, 30, no. 20, ill. (installation photo).

    "Ninety-first Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1960–1961." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (October 1961), pp. 42, 64, ill., calls it "Still Life with Ginger Jar and Eggplants" and dates it about 1890–94.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX–XX Centuries." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3, New York, 1967, pp. 111–12, ill., note that most of the objects in this picture also appear together in "Still Life with Apples" (1893–94; Getty Center, Los Angeles; V598, R770) and separately in several other paintings.

    Sandra Orienti in L'opera completa di Cézanne. [French ed., 1975; English ed., 1985]. Milan, 1970, pp. 122–23, no. 793, ill., dates it 1890–94.

    Götz Adriani. Cézanne Watercolors. Exh. cat.New York, 1983, p. 280, under no. 88.

    John Rewald. Paul Cézanne: The Watercolors, A Catalogue Raisonné. Boston, 1983, pp. 134, 230, under nos. 204 and 563, notes that a similar green Provençal jar appears in the watercolor "Poterie marseillaise" (1880–85; present location unknown; V852) and the rum bottle in another watercolor (1900–1906; private collection, Chicago; V1541).

    Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 11, 196–97, 254, ill. (color, overall and detail), notes that Cézanne's still lifes from the early 1890s, such as this one, have "more elaborate" compositions; comments that the ginger jar appears in three other paintings from 1890–94.

    John Rewald. Cézanne: A Biography. New York, 1986, p. 277, ill. p. 210 (color).

    Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 142, 178, pl. 107, states that the Havemeyers may have acquired this picture from Vollard [see Ref. Rabinow and Warman 2006].

    Gary Tinterow et al. "Modern Europe." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 8, New York, 1987, pp. 9, 50–51, colorpl. 31, date it about 1890.

    Sidney Geist. Interpreting Cézanne. Cambridge, Mass., 1988, pp. 23–24, 278, pls. 25–26 (overall and detail).

    Cézanne by Himself: Drawings, Paintings, Writings. London, 1988, pp. 188, 315, ill. (color), dates it about 1890–94.

    John Rewald with the research assistance of Frances Weitzenhoffer. Cézanne and America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, 1891–1921. The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Princeton, 1989, p. 128 n. 44.

    Steven Henry Madoff. "Looking at Art, Paul Cézanne: Still Life with a Ginger Jar and Eggplants." Arts News 89 (May 1990), pp. 125–26, ill. (color, overall and detail), dates it 1890.

    Götz Adriani. Cézanne: Gemälde. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Tübingen. Cologne, 1993, pp. 172, 176, 184, 186–88, 210, 242, no. 59, ill. (color) [English ed., 1995], calls it almost Baroque in feeling "because of its wealth of invention, diversity of objects, and distinct color"; asserts that several paintings depict the same blue rug, objects, and background wall with wainscoting, suggesting that the setting is Cézanne's studio at the Jas de Bouffan.

    Jean-Marie Baron and Pascal Bonafoux. Cézanne: Les natures mortes. Paris, 1993, pp. 36–37, ill. (color), dates it 1890–94.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 230, 246, colorpl. 243, identifies this painting or "Still Life with Jar, Cup, and Apples" (MMA 29.100.66) as the picture called "Fruits" which was bought by the Havemeyers through Cassatt during a trip to Europe in April 1907, deposited with Durand-Ruel on May 7, and shipped to the Havemeyers in New York on May 11 [see Ref. Rabinow and Warman 2006, who date the trip to April 1906, and identify this picture as the one bought during this trip].

    Gary Tinterow in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 47.

    Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 302–4, no. A78, ill.

    Maria Teresa Benedetti. Cézanne. [Italian ed., 1995]. Paris, 1995, p. 210, ill. (color), dates it 1890–94.

    Philippe Dagen. Cézanne. Paris, 1995, p. 107, ill. p. 82 (color), dates it 1890.

    Stéphane Melchior-Durand. L'ABCdaire de Cézanne. Paris, 1995, p. 98.

    Evmarie Schmitt. Cézanne in Provence. [German ed., 1995]. Munich, 1995, pp. 57, 115, ill. (color), dates it 1893–94.

    Isabelle Cahn in Cézanne. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Philadelphia, 1996, p. 387 n. 3 [French ed., Paris, 1995].

    Walter Feilchenfeldt in Cézanne. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Philadelphia, 1996, pp. 573–74 [French ed., Paris, 1995, p. 573].

    John Rewald, in collaboration with Walter Feilchenfeldt, and Jayne Warman. The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 466–67, 571, no. 769; vol. 2, p. 264, fig. 769, calls it "Nature morte aux aubergines" and dates it 1893–94.

    Mario Naves. "Masterpieces & Mishmash: 'Objects of Desire' at MOMA." New Criterion 16 (September 1997), p. 46.

    Margit Rowell. Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1997, p. 220, colorpl. 1, dates it 1890–94.

    Elaine Levin. "Ceramic Still Life, The Common Object." Ceramics: Art and Perception no. 32 (1998), p. 56, states that the ceramicist Karen Koblitz was inspired by this painting in her "Still Life with Red Saucer" (1984).

    Hannah Byers and Eliza E. Rathbone. Impressionist Still Life. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection. New York, 2001, pp. 176, 179, colorpl. 83, compare this picture to "Ginger Pot with Pomegranate and Pears" (1890–93; Phillips Collection, Washington; V733, R735).

    Jennifer A. Greenhill in Eliza E. Rathbone and George T. M. Shackelford. Impressionist Still Life. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection, Washington. New York, 2001, p. 202.

    John McCoubrey in Eliza E. Rathbone George T. M. Shackelford. Impressionist Still Life. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection, Washington. New York, 2001, p. 40.

    George T. M. Shackelford in Eliza E. Rathbone and George T. M. Shackelford. Impressionist Still Life. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection, Washington. New York, 2001, pp. 27, 164, asserts that Cézanne must have been influenced by Jan Davidsz. de Heem's "The Dessert" (1640; Musée du Louvre, Paris) when he executed the "most precariously balanced of his tabletop still lifes in the late 1880s and 1890s," including this picture
    .

    Karen Wilkin. "A Celebration of Painting in Boston." New Criterion 20 (June 2002), p. 59.

    Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer. Cézanne and Provence: The Painter in His Culture. Chicago, 2003, pp. 125, 127, fig. 3.26 (color), identifies the blue patterned cloth in this picture as an "indienne," brightly colored cotton fabric originally imported from the Levant but also made in Provence since the eighteenth century.

    Sarah Lees in The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, pp. 248, 251, 315, 321, no. 54, ill. on cover (color detail) and fig. 184 (color).

    Rebecca A. Rabinow and Jayne S. Warman in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 282, state that Havemeyer bought this work from Vollard for Fr 15,000 on May 4, 1906 [see Ref. Stein 1993].

    Impressionist & Modern Art. Sotheby's, New York. November 7, 2006, p. 57, under no. 18, fig. 3 (color).

    Gilbert T. Vincent and Sarah Lees in The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, p. 177.

    Jayne S. Warman in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 340 n. 1, under no. 36.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 125, 225, no. 114, ill. (color and black and white).

    Susan Alyson Stein in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 109, 191–92, no. 75, ill. (color and black and white).

    Jayne S. Warman in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, p. 83.



  • Notes

    The ginger jar appears in several other paintings executed between 1890 and 1895, including "Still Life with Apples" (Getty Center, Los Angeles; Ref. Venturi 1936, no. 598, Ref. Rewald 1996, no. 770), "Ginger Pot with Pomegranate and Pears" (Phillips Collection, Washington; V733, R735), "Ginger Pot" (Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn.; V737, R773), "Still Life with Fruit and Ginger Pot" (Sotheby's, New York, November 7, 2006, no. 18; V596, R802), and "Fruit and Ginger Pot" (Museum Langmatt, Baden; V595, R736).

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