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[Music] we're on the fifth floor of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and we're looking at pulses on still life with apples from 1895 1898 right the three-year span suggests that he worked on this repeatedly over the course of several years except it's not finished no not at all in several areas in fact the canvas is quite bare and the rest of it is quite sketchy it's really sketchy and you're right that this tablecloth in the foreground is just well it's not raw canvas but sized canvas the drapery on the upper left is the same the picture on the right side lots of the white canvas coming through and even the areas which are painted seem as if it's only a preliminary first coat I think we get to say that it was badly drawn yeah you know I think the picture is tipping to the left the ellipse that forms the the edge of the bowl is is completely sort of deformed and the glass the the edge of the glass as we seem to look down at the glass as we look across at it much too much yeah and these the the fruit on the table too looks like it should fall off gravity could draw beautiful yeah and according to the traditions of the 19th century so this is purposeful and it's it's it's this deliberate what it's a deliberate breaking open of the possibilities of what painting could be here at the close of the 19th century I think an idea that the tradition of European painting of it being a very magnetic very real image that reflected the what the artist saw I think that that was obviously completely bankrupt well by 1/8 1880 and 1890 because the still life itself as a subject is a first of all lowly it had not had any real significance since the 17th century and he's resurrecting the the still life as a form but if you think about the still life that was one of the attributes of the still life in the 17th century was a kind of really heightened naturalism and how real everything could look if you look at the answer of the Dutch tradition and yet Cezanne is sort of going at this in a very different way entirely different so so linear perspective in the tour and those traditions of hyper realism as they had been refined over the centuries into the 19th century was very much still dominant and yet Cezanne here is not finishing the canvas is is playing fast and loose with drawing and is creating a an environment that I think is very perplexing must been extremely perplexing for viewers in the nineteenth century but even for us creates a kind of tentativeness when we look at it I think he's finding his way I think he knows that those traditions are bankrupt and I think he's looking for another way to paint and another way to see and another way to see and another way to experience well that's really that's it because I think there's also an implicit invitation here to move into this canvas visually in a sense the way he experiences this this warms and you know in the in the 19th century according to the traditions that had been in place for so long the artists would stand in a particular point in space and make sure that everything was in accord with that perspectival point but what Cezanne seems to be doing is to allow us to move through the canvas and to in a sense experience it as we might as our vision actually begins to meander is it possible here that says on is actually giving us a series of pathways and alternatives and a more complex set of views I think it is I think that the bigger question here is how that becomes important or why that becomes important at the dawn of the 20th century at the end of the 19th century that something about the experience of the individual something about the subjectivity of the experience of space of time of seeing I think that the weight of those things and the bankruptcy of that magnetic tradition that copying of nature tradition you know something about those issues becomes really critical at the end of the 19th century I think that that's exactly right and I think that subjectivity is critical to understanding Cezanne at the same time I think there's a series of sort of underlying other sort of visual realities that have come into play in the modern world the monography photography the momentariness of the glimpse of the city of the speed of transportation and in a sense that the the making complex of vision exactly an ensign is taking that vision that idea of the complexity of vision and and really working it and thinking it through and eliminating the sort of spiritual stuff that go gann adds to it in the psychological material that van Gogh adds to it and thinking about it in a very sort of rigorous way and of course this will have an enormous impact on the next century when Matisse and Picasso and others will look back to this work really is the foundation for cubism and for so much of the abstraction and the formal you're absolutely right sort of the formal investigations of vision that they go after yep [Music] you