Newly Uncovered Cézanne Mural Found

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The Art Newspaper has reported the discovery of a previously unseen artwork, believed to be by the renowned French Impressionist Paul Cézanne, in his childhood home in Aix-en-Provence. The mural, measuring approximately sixty-four square feet, was found last August during renovations of the home, which was being prepared for a program honoring Cézanne’s connection to Aix. Named “Entrée du port” (Entrance to the Port), the work seems to be influenced by Claude-Joseph Vernet or Claude Lorrain and depicts a maritime scene with fluttering pennants, ships’ masts, flags, and buildings.

This mural is the tenth work by Cézanne discovered inside the house, which was bought by the artist’s father, Louis-Auguste Cézanne, in 1859 and sold by Cézanne and his sisters forty years later. The other nine works, all created between 1859 and 1869 and painted directly onto the walls, were found decades ago and are documented in John Rewald’s 1996 catalogue raisonné of Cézanne’s works. These murals have since been transferred to canvas and distributed to various art institutions, including the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia; Musée d’Orsay and the Petit Palais, both in Paris; and the Nakata Museum in Onomichi, Japan.

It is believed that Cézanne painted the 1864 work “Jeu de cache-cache” (Game of Hide-and-Seek) directly over “Entrée du port”; the Granel-Corsy family, who purchased the house from the artist and his sisters in 1899, likely painted over the edges. The discovery of this new mural, which will be included in the updated catalogue raisonné, raises questions about the chronological order of all ten works. Additionally, this discovery provides Aix, which previously possessed no works by the artist, with its first Cézanne. The municipality plans to celebrate its connection with Cézanne in 2025.

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