Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence)
Oil on canvas
21 1/2 x 17 3/4 in. (54.6 x 45.1 cm)
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1997, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 822
The mood and palette of this pensive figure study relate it to Cézanne's celebrated series of paintings showing men playing cards. This particular individual does not appear in any of those pictures, but there can be no doubt that he, like the models for the card players, was one of the workers at the Jas de Bouffan, the Cézanne family estate in Aix-en-Provence.
[Probably Ambroise Vollard, Paris, possibly stock book A, no. 3427, as "Portrait d'homme assis les jambes croisées, les mains unies, fond gris 54 x 45," bought from the artist ca. 1899, for Fr 1,500]; [Josse Hessel, Paris]; Christian and Charlotte Mustad, Oslo (by 1918); Mustad family (until 1968; sold to Wildenstein); [Wildenstein, New York, 1968–74; sold to Haupt]; Mrs. Enid A. Haupt (1974–83; sold to Annenberg); her brother and his wife, Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1983–97; jointly with MMA, 1997–his d. 2002)
Kristiana [Oslo]. Kunstnerforbundet. "Den Franske utstilling i Kunstnerforbundet," January–February 1918, no. 10 (as "Portrait d'homme").
Stockholm. Svensk-Franska Konstgalleriet. "Mästerverk i Fransk 1800-Talskonst," December 1935, no. 4 (as "Portrait d'homme assis sur une chaise," lent by a private collection, Norway).
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat.
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cézanne's Card Players," February 9–May 8, 2011, no. 24.
Élie Faure. "Toujours Cézanne." L'Amour de l'art 1 (December 1920), ill. p. 268, as "Portrait de paysan".
Paul Jamot. "L'Art français en Norvège." La Renaissance 12 (February 1929), pp. 86, 104, ill., locates it in the collection of Christian Mustad; tentatively identifies the sitter as one of the models for "The Cardplayers" (Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania; R706) [see Ref. Rishel 1991].
Lionello Venturi. Cézanne: son art—son oeuvre. Paris, 1936, vol. 1, p. 213, no. 691; vol. 2, pl. 224, no. 691, calls it "Paysan" and dates it 1895–1900; places it formerly in the collection of Josse [sic] Hessel, Paris.
Sandra Orienti inL'opera completa di Cézanne. [French ed., 1975; English ed., 1985]. Milan, 1970, p. 113, no. 605, ill.
Marcel Brion. Paul Cézanne. Milan, 1972, ill. p. 56 (color).
John Rewald. Cézanne: A Biography. New York, 1986, p. 277, ill. p. 206 (color), dates it 1898–1900.
Catherine Barnett. "A Very Private View: Inside Walter Annenberg's Personal Paradise." Art & Antiques 6 (March 1989), pp. 98–99, 106, ill. (color).
Joseph J. Rishel inMasterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 82–83, 184–85, 187, ill. (color and black and white), dates it 1895–1900; notes that although the sitter cannot be identified as one of the models in any of the versions of "The Cardplayers," "he almost certainly was, like them, one of the farm hands who worked at Cézanne's mother's house"; states that although still life elements appear often in Cézanne's male figure studies, they are unusually independent here, and that the figure itself takes on "the aspect of one more still-life element in the composition"; notes similarities between the sitter's clothes and those worn by Cézanne [see photographs in Ref. Rewald 1986, pp. 258–59].
John Rewald, in collaboration with Walter Feilchenfeldt, and Jayne Warman. The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1996, vol. 1, p. 496, no. 827; vol. 2, ill. p. 289, calls it "Portrait de paysan assis" and dates it 1898–1900.
Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), pp. 5, 57, ill. (color), dates it about 1892–96; notes that it relates in mood and palette to the series of cardplayers.
Nils Messel inImpressionism and the North. Late 19th Century French Avant-Garde Art and the Art in the Nordic Countries 1870–1920. Ed. Torsten Gunnarsson and Per Hedström. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 2002, p. 240, ill. p. 237 (color), calls it "Portrait of a Seated Farmer" and dates it 1898–1900.
Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer. Cézanne and Provence: The Painter in His Culture. Chicago, 2003, p. 210, fig. 5.25 (color), calls it "Portrait de paysan assis" and dates it 1898–1900.
Bruno Ely. "'Pater omnipotens Aeterne Deus': L'achat et la vente du Jas de Bouffan par la famille Cézanne." Jas de Bouffan—Cézanne. Aix-en-Provence, 2004, ill. p. 25 (color).
Joseph J. Rishel inMasterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 157–61, 171 n. 1, no. 30, ill. (color), dates it about 1892–96 based on stylistic considerations, adding that it was definitely painted at the Jas de Bouffan before the sale of the property in September 1899; compares it to Cézanne's later series of the gardener Vallier (about 1905–6; Tate, London; R950 and Stiftung Sammlung E. G. Bührle, Zurich; R953).
Nancy Ireson and Barnaby Wright inCézanne's Card Players. Ed. Nancy Ireson and Barnaby Wright. Exh. cat., Courtauld Gallery. London, 2010, pp. 15, 20.
John House inCézanne's Card Players. Ed. Nancy Ireson and Barnaby Wright. Exh. cat., Courtauld Gallery. London, 2010, p. 55.
Barnaby Wright inCézanne's Card Players. Ed. Nancy Ireson and Barnaby Wright. Exh. cat., Courtauld Gallery. London, 2010, pp. 148–51, no. 24, ill. (color, overall and detail), identifies this setting as apparently the same room as the MMA (61.101.1) and Barnes Foundation "Card Players" compositions (R707 and 706); notes that the same model appears in "Standing Peasant with Crossed Arms" (about 1895; Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn.; R787); compares this picture to Cézanne's portrait of Vollard (1899; Musée du Petit-Palais, Paris; R811).
Louis van Tilborgh, Teio Meedendorp, and Oda van Maanen. "'Sunset at Montmajour': A Newly Discovered Painting by Vincent van Gogh." Burlington Magazine 155 (October 2013), pp. 701–2, fig. 69 (photograph of an interior from Mustad's house with the MMA painting on the wall), states that Mustad purchased it in 1918, noting that, according to Nils Messel (chief curator at the Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo), Mustad had no works by major artists before World War I.
This picture is stylistically related to "Standing Peasant" (about 1895; Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn.; R787), two variants of "Man with Folded Arms" (about 1899; private collection, New York and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; R850 and R851), and "Seated Peasant" (1904–6; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, R943).