Cezanne’s Studio

Still Life with Open Drawer by Paul Cezanne, 1879

I read an article that talked about the color of Cezanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence, France. It had gray walls, which lessened the 3-d effect of real objects. In other words, painting a bowl set against a gray wall has a flattening effect (which is apparent in Cezanne’s paintings). It is easier to jump from the color of the bowl to the color of the wall. The wall color is actually important. Very interesting! I’m easily fascinated by the importance of negative space. I could go beyond art with that topic. But I won’t, at least today.

Check out the article. It has pictures of the studio. When I walk into the room of someone dead and famous, I usually don’t think, “Whoa, this is a room of a famous person.” I tend to think, “Whoa, this room is pretty ordinary and real-looking,” which makes the famous person seem more ordinary and real. And I like that! I don’t know everything about Cezanne, but I do know he was a gruff, temperamental type of person. And he didn’t mind repetition. He spent much time painting the same mountain over and over. I think it wasn’t about the mountain. It was more about the colors.



After studying the book of Ecclesiastes, I spent a day shrugging my shoulders and sighing, “It’s all meaningless.” But really I did learn something about this strange book of the Bible. I learned that the Preacher (who may or may not be Solomon) was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, a realistic human being in a fallen world. I learned how difficult and confusing it must have been to live in Old Testament times, when God’s people lived without the benefit of the New Testament and the life of Christ. I even came up with an art analogy about the book of Ecclesiastes: in a picture of a Christian’s life, where Christ and the gospel message are the central figure, Ecclesiastes is the negative space. Perhaps that is why we hardly know how to study this book. It requires a different mind-set, seeing God’s Word from a strange perspective.