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Ginger Jar and Fruit

also known as Le vase paille

Artist: Paul Cezanne
Created: 1895
Dimensions (cm): 60.0 x 73.0
Format: Oil on canvas
Location: The Barnes Foundation, Merion, USA



Ginger Jar and Fruit (Le vase paille)

Perhaps one of Paul Cézanne’s most famed paintings, ‘Ginger Jar and Fruit’, known in French as ‘Le vase paille’, is a still life masterpiece. The background’s lush hues of grey, blue, and red brushstrokes cleverly add depth to the painting and help bring into the foreground the table and its colourful display of fruits – the viewer’s main focus.

The blurred tools on the back wall lead us to believe that the room is a kitchen. The artist’s skilful curved brushstrokes in the bunched up white table cloth create fabric folds and meticulous details that bring about a three-dimensional image. So vividly painted are the fruit that they appear palpable, plump and delicious. Paul Cézanne cunningly achieved this effect by painting them slightly oversized. Scattered untidily on the table, the summer fruit look like they have been spilled onto the cloth in preparation perhaps for cutting and cooking.

Although painted with much the same colors as the background, the ginger jar stands nonetheless tall and prominent against the clutter in front of it. The lid is missing, giving the impression that the ginger held inside might be utilized in the preparation of the fruit. Cézanne’s masterful play on lighting, together with his use of short and intense brushstrokes twinned with white hues on the jar, render it an eye-catcher and an important item in the painting.

Paul Cézanne - The Artist

A French artist and Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Cézanne paved the path of the traditional 19th century Impressionism concept to a new and fundamentally different world of art - 20th century Cubism. Both Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are said to have stated that Cézanne “is the father of us all.” (Wikipedia)

Though Cézanne rarely, if ever, drew sketches prior to painting, his artwork consistently demonstrates a mastery of design, color, and composition, as can be perceived in the painting ‘Ginger Jar and Fruit’. His paintings are usually recognizable by their repetitive, yet exploratory brushstrokes, paired with various color palettes that work harmoniously to build a unique expression of both visual and natural appreciation.

‘Ginger Jar and Fruit’ or ‘Le vase paille’ by Paul Cézanne is located at the The Barnes Foundation in Merion, USA.



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