Art: The Triumph of the Recluse

In New York, a great Cézanne show

In the last decade of his life, Paul Cézanne experienced, perhaps more fully than any great artist since Michelangelo, the anxiety of Tantalus. The more he painted, the more he saw. The more he saw, the more manifold and unattainable truth became. "I must tell you," Cézanne wrote to his son six weeks before his death in the fall of 1906, "that as a painter I am becoming more clear-sighted before nature, but with me the realization of my sensations is always painful. I cannot attain the intensity that is unfolded before my senses. I...

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