The Card Players

Paul Cézanne French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 826

Cézanne was in his fifties when he undertook a painting campaign devoted to giving memorable form to a subject that inspired the likes of Caravaggio and Chardin. He was determined from the start—as we see in this sturdy Provençal scene—to make it his own. Cézanne carefully crafted this composition from figure studies he had made of local farmhands. Once he had puzzled-out his conception, he continued to fine-tune the poses and positions of the card players, until they—like the four pipes hanging on the wall behind them—each fell perfectly into place. Cézanne channeled the quiet authority he achieved here into a much larger variant (Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia) and punctuated the series with three works in which he pared away extraneous details to focus his gaze on a pair of players.

#6330. The Card Players

The Card Players, Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence), Oil on canvas

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