The House of the Hanged Man at Auvers

Look carefully at The House of the Hanged Man at Auvers, 1872-1873, by Paul Cézanne. In not more than 500 words, explain why you think this painting was dismissed so scathingly by some critics when it was exhibited with the Independents in 1874.

The exhibition in 1874 was held by an independent group of artists known as the

Impressionists and was held outside the prestigious ‘Salon’.

  When Paul Cézanne exhibited with the Independents in 1874, his painting of    

‘The House of the Hanged Man at Auvers’ , his controversial method

and technique of art was only just emanating and was met with sarcasm and

vicious criticism.

    Cézanne’s painting ‘ The House of the Hanged Man at Auvers’   is

characteristically Impressionist evident in the bright colours and vigorous

brushstrokes. He wanted to capture the effects of light through colour but

equally he was advertent of objects and structure. The objects in the painting are

solid and the rectangular shapes complement the composition. The two main

houses seem to be on the same plane and don’t recede in depth . There similar

structure creates the illusion of symmetry and the unstable looking ground is

completely different to the faint, definite open spaces characteristic of

Impressionism. Every stroke of the brushwork is stiff and distinct causing the

painting to seem dense and thick with paint.

  Cézanne was obsessed with form and was passionate that subject matter was

secondary to his own performance of painting. He wanted to produce exactly

what his eye saw in nature rather than just a transient appearance of the

matter. It was this, his dense palette, unmistakable geometric nature, solid

frameworks and colour determined aspects of distance and depth that marked

the difference between Cézanne and his Impressionist contemporaries.

    Cézanne’s style of art was undoubtedly revolutionary particularly with his

deviation from...