Paul Cézanne died in October, 1906. This painting’s date is 1905-1906.
Cezanne’s immense influence lies in the acknowledgment by his successors of his move, painting after painting, towards abstraction without ever entering into it.
He himself was most interested in emphasizing what is solid, what is real. And he was devoted to the tradition of his civilization.
You can see here the blocks of colours which are the artist’s hallmark for solidity. Picked up by Cubism.
But not only. The blocks interact with many other shapes just as the artist’s black outlines merge with colours used as outline.
He was, of course, a master colourist: here the Autumn yellows move your eye from the crown of the sitter’s boater to his face, to his cane, to the parapet which so grounds this figure, to the tip of his slip-on shoes.
Dazzling number of colours and shades in this painting.
Looking at the colours and shades around these shoes, the toes of which are dipped in Autumn, you know that the artist’s last Autumn is arriving.
And that he died when those Autumn colours would have reached the top of this magnificent painting..
Seated Man, 1905-06, oil on canvas.
Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid on loan to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC in 2018