Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
had the patience of a saint and the humility of a scientist but, when
these failed, the fury of a thousand demons. He could work for months
on a single canvas, painstakingly observing every detail of the motif
and weighing every stroke before he touched brush to canvas, and then,
inexplicably, fly into a rage, stab it full of holes, and finally,
pitch it out the window. Although not one person in his family—mother,
sister, wife—ever understood why he had chosen to be a painter as
against something more useful such as the banker his father had wanted
him to be, nevertheless, they learned silently to retrieve each canvas
from the yard or tree or wherever else it had happened to land and to
keep it against future want.
Southgate MT. Madame Cézanne in Blue. JAMA. 1999;281(2):111. doi:10.1001/jama.281.2.111
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