Look carefully at Plate 1.3.24, Cezanne??™s Jug and Fruit (1885-87), and Plate 1.3.30, Zurbaran??™s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose (1633). In no more than 500 words, outline what you think are the main differences between them.In both paintings, Cezanne and Zurbaran have used the medium of oil on canvas, to depict a still life image of fruit on a table; however, the paintings are very different from each other. Some of the reasons for this are that they have used different colour palettes, with Cezanne??™s painting being lighter and subdued in colour, compared with Zurbaran??™s painting, which is mostly black. Different techniques have been used; in Cezanne??™s painting you can see the brushstrokes, while Zurbaran??™s painting has a smooth finish. Lastly, the composition of each painting is different, Cezanne has arranged the fruit to draw the eye up and into the centre of the painting, whereas, Zurbaran has arranged the objects in a horizontal line across the centre of the painting.
These main differences between Cezanne??™s Jug and Fruit (Plate 1.3.24) and Zurbaran??™s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose (Plate 1.3.30) are discussed further below.
The colour palette used in Cezanne??™s painting has a narrow tonal range, using cool colours, green and blue. But to add depth and draw the spectators??™ eye up into the centre of the painting, he has used yellow and red on the central pear, which makes it stand out against the brown and blue-grey background.
Zurbaran uses contrasting colours of yellow and black, with black dominating the painting and making the fruit stand out giving the painting more depth.
Another difference between the paintings is the different brushwork used on each. Cezanne has used the painterly technique where you can see the brushstrokes and Zurbaran has used linear brushwork, which gives a smooth finish to the painting and the image has a more realistic appearance.
The final difference is the composition of each painting. In Cezanne??™s painting, he has painted a pear, which is brown, in the bottom right hand corner to create the picture plane. This pear overlaps two green pears and draws the eye to the central pear painted in a yellow and red. By doing this he has added depth to the painting by drawing the eye to the centre of the picture space. He has used modelling by shading the fruit to look like light is shining from the right. The way the fruit and jug is arranged it makes the spectators??™ eyes move around the painting.
Zurbaran??™s painting in contrast has all the fruit and objects in a row, horizontally across the centre of the painting. Where he has used black it makes the fruit stand out and look three dimensional especially where shading has been used to show light shining from the left. Unlike Cezanne??™s painting, the spectators??™ attention is drawn to the centre because the middle object is taller, with shorter objects either side, which gives a linear perspective that adds depth to the painting. Overall the feel of Cezanne??™s painting is lighter and less formal, whereas Zurbaran??™s use of bold contrasting colour and the line in which the fruit and objects have been arranged give a serious, formal appearance. (499 words)Bibliography
The Open University (2008), AA100 Illustration Book (Plates for Books 1 and 2), Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Harrison, C. (2008) ???Cezanne??™, in Moohan, E. (ed.) Reputations (AA100 Book 1), Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp. 63 ??“ 66.
The Open University (2010) ???Inside Art??™ http://learn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.phpid=587386 (Accessed 10 November 2011)
O??™Day, R., Hardy, W., Marsh, G., Padley, S. and Perryman, L.A. (2011) Making Sense of the Arts, Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp. 139 ??“ 175.