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Rizzuto, A. (2002). Psychoanalysis and Art: A Psychoanalytic View of the Life and Work of CĂ©zanne. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 83(3):678-681.

(2002). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 83(3):678-681

Psychoanalysis and Art: A Psychoanalytic View of the Life and Work of Cézanne

Reported by:
Ana-María Rizzuto

Moderated by:
Saul K. Peña

Paul Cézanne, the father of modern painting, was the most original artistic innovator of his time, constantly reflecting on, and searching for solutions to problems of pictorial representation. He was also an unstable man—shy, misanthropic, occasionally paranoid, and ill at ease in the social world. Each presenter applied psychoanalytic insights to particular facets of the man and his art.

Melgar focused on what she considered Cézanne's main preoccupation: the genesis of a painting as a construction of the mind that has captured through the senses ‘the emerging order of a spontaneous organisation’ and has to express it on a flat surface. Cézanne considered that both the actual object and the pictorial object have a visible and an invisible structure, constructed by the artist through the painting itself. Visible natural objects and the artist's senses must interpenetrate each other in the ‘realisation’ of a work of art. Cézanne illustrated what he had to achieve as a painter by clasping together his hands, fingers spread, in a gesture of unity. For him a ‘landscape is thought from within’. He would spend hours and days looking at an object or a landscape in order to consider different angles of vision and the transformation of the object through them. In his canvases he included multiple perspectives of the objects, a technique which introduced dynamic tensions in the painting and enlarged the ordinary view of the objects.

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