An Imaginary Interview with Paul Cezanne

An Imaginary Interview with Paul Cezanne

Setting: A sun-dappled studio in Aix-en-Provence, France. Easels adorned with unfinished landscapes stand around the room. A man with a thoughtful brow and a worn painter's smock sits with a steaming cup of coffee.

Interviewer: Monsieur Cézanne, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Cézanne: (Nods) Of course. Though I confess, I’m more comfortable with a brush in hand than with words.

Interviewer: Completely understandable. Your work has been quite revolutionary, a departure from the traditional. What drives you to paint the world in such a…structured way?

Cézanne: Ah, structure! The world itself is a symphony of underlying order. Look at that apple on the table – its roundness, the way light dances on its curves. It’s not just an apple, it’s a play of form and color. I strive to capture that essence, the permanence beneath the fleeting surface.

Interviewer: Some critics find your approach harsh, even unfinished.

Cézanne: (A wry smile) Unfinished? Perhaps. But is nature ever truly finished? It’s a constant flux of light and shadow. I layer colors, small strokes that build form, hinting at the underlying structure. It’s for the viewer to complete the picture, to engage with the work.

Interviewer: Is that why you often revisit the same subject, like Mont Sainte-Victoire?

Cézanne: That mountain! It’s a challenge, a constant dialogue. Each time I paint it, the light is different, the mood shifts. But the underlying structure remains, a constant I can explore on the canvas.

Interviewer: You were once part of the Impressionist movement, but distanced yourself. Why?

Cézanne: They captured light beautifully, the fleeting moment. But for me, there’s a deeper truth. Nature needs a sense of order, a permanence that Impressionism sometimes lacked. I wanted to build enduring structures with color and form.

Interviewer: Looking back, how do you feel about your legacy?

Cézanne: (Shrugs) Legacy? It’s not for me to say. I simply paint what I see, what I feel. Perhaps I offer a different way of seeing the world, a way to appreciate the order within nature’s chaos.

Interviewer: A way that has greatly influenced modern art.

Cézanne: (Raises an eyebrow) Has it? That’s interesting. I simply pursue my own path, monsieur. If others find inspiration, then tant mieux – so much the better.

Interviewer: Thank you for your time, Monsieur Cézanne. Your work will undoubtedly continue to inspire for generations to come.

Cézanne: (Nods) Well, perhaps it’s time for me to get back to that apple. There’s always more to see.

(The interview ends, and Cézanne picks up his brush, returning to the canvas with renewed focus.)