Paul Cezanne, French painter, one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists, whose works and ideas were influential in the aesthetic development of many 20th-century artists and art movements, especially Cubism. Cezanne’s art, misunderstood and discredited by the public during most of his life, grew out of Impressionism and eventually challenged all the conventional values of painting in the 19th century because of his insistence on personal expression and on the integrity of the painting itself, regardless of subject matter.
Early life and work
Cezanne was the son of a well-to-do bourgeois family. He received a classical education at the College Bourbon in Aix. In 1858, under the direction of his father-a successful banker determined to have his son enter the same profession-Cezanne entered the law school of the University of Aix-en-Provence. He had no taste for the law, however, having decided at an early age to pursue some kind of artistic career, and after two years he persuaded his father, with the support of his mother’s entreaties, to allow him to study painting in Paris.