Paul Cézanne - The Card Players 1892

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The Card Players 1892

The Card Players 1892
60x73cm oil/canvas
Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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From Courtauld Institute of Art, London:
Paul Cézanne’s famous paintings of peasant card players and pipe smokers have long been considered to be among his most iconic and powerful works.
The first mention of the Card Players series comes in 1891 when the writer Paul Alexis visited Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence and found the artist painting a local peasant from the farm on his estate, the Jas de Bouffan. A number of different farm workers came to sit for him over the years, often smoking their clay pipes. They included an old gardener known as le père Alexandre and Paulin Paulet, who posed for the three pesant portraits, a task for which he was paid five francs.
Cézanne’s depictions of card players would prove to be one of his most ambitious projects and occupied him for several years. It resulted in five closely related canvases of different sizes showing men seated at a rustic table playing cards, including versions from The Courtauld Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée d’Orsay. Alongside these he produced a larger number of paintings of the individual farm workers who appear in the Card Players compositions, major examples of which are reunited from the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, together with The Courtauld’s Man with a Pipe.