Mrs Essa

Paul Cézanne: Still Life with Plaster Cast 1894
How do the form and content of this painting contribute to our understanding of it as modern work?
The painting is dominated by a plaster bust of Cupid. If Cézanne had followed the old conventional methods he would have made an accurate portrayal from a fixed viewpoint. However, if you look at it carefully, he has painted it so that it appears twisted around on its base. As he worked on this picture over a long period of time, and he himself moved around it. He has pieced together his image by painting what he saw from these changing viewpoints. Little by little he has built up a composite image of the figure that shows more than could be seen from one fixed position.
On the table , it looks like there are different sorts of fruit and vegetables but they look pretty vague, whether they are apples, pears peaches, onions or even parsnips If he had followed conventional practice he would have created a convincing illusion of easily idealised fruits and vegetables. But he has not done this. He has only painted what he sees, and what he has seen is simply form, shape and colour.
The sort of vibe you get from this painting is sad and gloomy, the fact that the painter has no given the statue any arms contributes to this. The statue also looks sad and colours aren’t very vibrant. However there’s also an element of mysteriousness, this is cupid the angel of love but he doesn’t appear to look happy, for an artist from that era it is unusual for them to create such a puzzling painting and it still confuses us in the 21st century

Cupid or the plaster cast is in the centre of the paint to get the attraction from the viewer. We have an angel figure, with no arms, cute face, moving or twisting his body and facing away. There are some objects placed behind cupid and there is also a half an oil painting appearing behind him.
On the table, it looks like there are different sorts of fruit and some on the floor,...