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Marie Cézanne, the Artist’s Sister (recto), The Artist’s Mother (verso)

Paul Cézanne, French, 1839–1906
Oil on canvas
Made in
Aix, Bouches-du-Rhône, Western Europe, France, Europe
Current Location
Not on view
22 x 15 1/2 in. (55.9 x 39.4 cm)
framed: 28 3/4 x 22 1/2 x 3 15/16 in. (73 x 57.2 x 10 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
This portrait of the artist's sister, Marie, was largely painted with a palette knife, resulting in thick strokes of color and a subtle impasto (texture). This aggressive technique was strongly influenced by Gustave Courbet, a leading painter of the previous generation. Cézanne's reliance on family as subject is underscored by the later, more restrained portrait of his mother on the back of this picture.
by 1929 - still in 1933
Ambroise Vollard (1867-1939), Paris, France [1]

Bignou Gallery (Étienne Bignou), Paris, France; New York, NY, USA

- 1934
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, NY

1934 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. [2]

This painting by Paul Cézanne is double-sided. The primary image is a portrait of the artist's sister, Marie Cézanne, while the verso image is a portrait of a peasant woman (possibly a depiction of the artist's mother).

The main source for this provenance is Rewald's 1996 catalogue raisonné ["The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné." New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996, cat. nos. 119, 148]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] The collector and art dealer Ambroise Vollard was a close friend of the artist, and likely acquired the picture directly from Cézanne. According to Rewald, the portrait of the artist's sister was included in a 1929 exhibition, lent by the organizer, Ambroise Vollard ["Cézanne." Galerie Pigalle, Paris, December, 1929, no. 39; letter from John Rewald dated May 30, 1989, SLAM document files]. An article about the exhibition illustrates the painting, indicating that it is from Vollard's collection [Dormoy, Marie. "Die Cézanne-Ausstellung im Théatre Pigalle." "Kunst und Kunstler" XXVII: VI (March 1930): p. 249]. The painting was also included in a 1933 catalogue of Vollard's collection, with an introduction by Étienne Bignou ["Paintings from the Ambroise Vollard Collection: XIX-XX Centuries." New York: Knoedler Galleries, November - December 1933, cat. 4].

[2] The invoice from M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. dated May 21, 1934 lists only Ambroise Vollard in the provenance for this work [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, June 7, 1934 and October 4, 1934.
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