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Three Apples (Deux pommes et demie) by Paul Cézanne
Three Apples (Deux pommes et demie) by Paul Cézanne

Three Apples (Deux pommes et demie), 1878

Paul Cézanne

This unusual still life is much less a depiction of three actual apples as it is an image of the artist’s interpretation of three apples. The colors are not the subject’s but the painter’s — the artist here depicts the vivid effects of complementary colors, the vibrancy of paint, beyond just the representation of real life objects. The choppy red brush strokes on the surfaces of the two red apples are juxtaposed against an almost garish green, creating a pulsating effect. The apples are outlined in black, with thick black-blue shadows on the white cloth, which lends a sense of volume and weight. Of painting, the artist once said “One must not reproduce it, one must interpret…by means of…color.”

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Credit
The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
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