“Acceptance in Lieu” of a Cézanne for Orsay

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Peasant Sitting, c. 1900
Oil on canvas - 72 x 58.5 cm
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
Photo : Musée d’Orsay

23/7/09 – Acquisition – Paris, Musée d’Orsay – While patronage for national treasures seems to be on the wane (see article, in French, of 10/5/09) – we hope only temporarily due to current economic conditions – Acceptance in Lieu is still one of the ways French museums continue to acquire certain works which would otherwise be unaffordable.

Thus, the Musée d’Orsay has just received an important painting by Paul Cézanne, Peasant Sitting [1] (ill.), in this manner. As in the case of all of the portraits dating from the painter’s last period, the canvas is done in large brush strokes. The frontal and hieratic position makes the figure of this elderly man quite monumental, an impression which is reinforced by the size of the hands, executed out of proportion on purpose. A preparatory drawing for this work is at the Kunsthaus in Zurich.

The last Cézanne painting to enter Orsay, Christ in Limbo, was also for Acceptance in Lieu three years ago (see news item of 10/2/06 in French). Several works have entered the collections there since last year. We will soon write about those we have not yet pointed out. Today, we would like to mention a second painting, for which we do not yet have a photograph, that has also entered for Acceptance in Lieu [2] : Dining Room in Cannet by Pierre Bonnard.

Version française

Didier Rykner, jeudi 23 juillet 2009


[1] Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, son art, son oeuvre, Paris, 1936, n° V.713. This painting is not yet hanging in the museum but soon will be.

[2] It is from 1932 and measures 96.5 x 101 cm.

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