Two Cezanne sketches found on backs of paintings

 In Art News Links, Artists & Special Collections, In the News, Paul Cezanne
Cezanne The Chaine de l'Etoile Mountains

“The Chaine de l’Etoile Mountains” by Paul Cezanne. A sketch on the back of the watercolor was recently discovered. Image courtesy of The Barnes Foundation.

When Albert Barnes obtained two Paul Cezanne watercolors, he probably didn’t realize he was receiving four works by the influential French artist.

Two unfinished sketches were discovered on the verso (the reverse side) of two Cezanne paintings depicting French landscape. The sketches have most likely not been seen since the early 20th century, causing the art world to buzz with excitement.

Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation said the sketches – one in graphite and one in watercolor – were found during conservation work of Cezanne’s “The Chaine de l’Etoile Mountains” (1885-86) and “Trees” (c. 1900).

“We’ve had (the watercolors) out of the frame before. But the backs were covered with brown paper,” said Barbara Buckley, the foundation’s senior director of conservation and chief painting conservator, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “That’s one of the reasons they were sent (for conservation). Brown paper is very acidic, and they needed acid-free paper.” Read more…

The discovery is of great significance, as the sketches offer insight into Cezanne’s artistic process. The foundation plans on displaying the paintings from April 10 to May 18 so that both sides will be visible for viewing.

Cezanne is known as the “Father of Modern Art” for his influence on 20th century art, pioneering the Post-Impressionist movement and inspiring cubism.

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