Thursday, 19 January 2017

Cézanne: 'a new link'

Here's something warming for a chilly winter morning - pine trees and rooftops in Mediterranean light, as only Cézanne could paint them.
 The artist was born on this day in 1839. His work is a shining example of how a genuinely new art is achieved not by breaking with all that has gone before but by absorbing it and building on it, enriching not terminating the tradition. 'One does not substitute oneself for the past,' he wrote, 'one merely adds to it a new link.' Wise words, as were his advice to his fellow artists: 'Keep good company - that is, go to the Louvre.'
 By extension, this becomes the best advice to those who would be writers: 'Keep good company - read the classics.'