Looking at the latest photo of “Riverbank” you can’t see much difference between the previous weeks photo images and the current one. One needs to see it in person and get up close to study the variations. After an additional 5 hours of copying “Riverbank,” I’m beginning to feel it is coming close to the end. My last session will be toning down colors with glazes in order to make the painting look more like the original. As I’ve mentioned many times before, my copies are always brighter in color, the result of newer, fresher paint. Often the public prefers the brighter look.
By 1886, a year after Cezanne completed “Riverbank,” his financial troubles were at an end and he was free to pursue his commitment to painting without outside interference. He preferred to spend his days in solitary pursuit of those ambitions in painting which were as vivid to him as they were obscure to others. He begins to paint with confidence and robustness, with an ambition and clarity about his work that suggest an artist coming to terms with his own temperament and realization. Many of Cezanne’s most distinctive subjects, like “Mont Ste-Victoire” and the “Card-Players,” made their definitive appearance at this time. The paintings of this period of his life show a rich interplay of colors, gestures and a massiveness that reminds us of the hard-won mastery that Cezanne had achieved in his thirty years as a painter.
The weather is getting milder (we hope) and visitors and art lovers are starting to venture out to see the sights in Washington, DC and the great new exhibits at the National Gallery of Art. I look forward to seeing friends and family at the NGA. Let’s have lunch together, I’m in gallery #84.