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#MetKids Mail: Still Lifes with Apples by Paula, Age 6, and Paul Cézanne

Paula's mixed-media composition of three red apples and a basket.

Paula, Picnic Fruits, 2017. Mixed-media on paper

#MetKids loves to receive emails with artwork by kids. This week we are responding to our friend Paula, a kindergarten student in Panama. Her mother emailed us a photo of a composition she made last school year, Picnic Fruits. We learned about how she made this still life with apples. And now we want to share some of Paul Cézanne's still lifes with apples for more inspiration.

Dear Paula,

Thank you for telling us about how you made your composition. The Art Extra-Curricular Class you made it in sounds like a lot of fun. You used different mediums to make it—crayons, water color, and tempera paint. So, it's a mixed-media artwork.

An oil still life painting of apples and pears on a table.

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906). Still Life with Apples and Pears, ca. 1891–2. Oil on canvas, 17 5/8 x 23 1/8 in. (44.8 x 58.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960 (61.101.3)

I enjoyed learning that you looked at other artworks that inspired you to make this one. You looked at images of apples and baskets. And when you drew the outline of your picture with pencil, you included other fruits and vegetables. There's a mango, carrots, and lettuce too. Your artwork shows an arrangement of objects that cannot move on their own, like fruit and a table. So, it's a still life.

Cezanne's painting of many apples and a potted flower on a table.

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906). Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses, ca. 1890. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 36 3/8 in. (73 x 92.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951 (51.112.1)

Did you know that Paul Cézanne painted still lifes with apples many times? At The Met, there are six still life paintings with apples by Paul. He often chose to paint fruit, like apples, because they lasted. He didn't paint flowers as much, because they wilted too fast. Paul took his time painting.

Cezanne's painting of apples, a jar and a mug.

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906). Still Life with Cup, Jar, and Apples, ca. 1877. Oil on canvas, 23 7/8 x 29 in. (60.6 x 73.7 cm) . The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.66)

In your artwork, the mango has volume because of the way you applied orange, yellow, and green. Zoom in on Still Life with Cup, Jar, and Apples (above). Look at the colors of each apple. The lightest apple was painted using a lot of yellow, with some orange, red, and green. Another apple was painted using a lot of red, with a bit of orange and green. What colors did Paul use to paint the darkest apples?

Each apple has a color scale—colors that are light, medium, and dark. Paul used the color scales to make the apples look like they have volume.

Paula is holding her artwork featured earlier and  stands with her art teacher.

Paula with her art teacher, Miss Reineria Morales, at the Boston International School in Panama

Your teacher Miss Morales taught you about form, light, and shadow. It's great that you used those elements to make your composition. We can all learn a lot from teachers and artists.

The Artist Project, Season 5: "Maureen Gallace on Paul Cézanne's Still Life Paintings with Apples"

I learned a lot about color and form in a painting class taught by Maureen Gallace. She is a landscape painter. You can hear her talk about Paul's still life paintings with apples in this video.

Thank you for sharing your artwork with us!



#MetKids would love to receive a letter or artwork from you too! Want inspiration? Hop in the #MetKids Time Machine and write us a question about something you discover. Or make art inspired by an object on the Map. Ask an adult to email it us at or mail it to us at:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028

MetKids brand image of Greek hero Perseus holding up paint canVisit #MetKids, a digital feature made for, with, and by kids! Discover fun facts about works of art, hop in our time machine, watch behind-the-scenes videos, and get ideas for your own creative projects.



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