Regarded by many as the first truly modern artist, Paul Cezanne transformed the face of the 19th Century painting and heralded the advent of Cubism.
His early work shows the influence of French masters Courbet and Delacroix, but ultimately Cezanne abandoned his early style, along with Impressionism, in favor of an increasingly abstract interpretation. He believed art should be " a harmony which runs paralleled with nature." Cezanne sought to reduce nature to three shapes: the cylinder, cone and sphere, rendering these shapes in skillfully modeled patches of color.
Cezanne spent the last years of his life as a near recluse in Aix, where he painted a series of works of a long favored subject, Mont Sainte-Victoire. An extensive retrospect of the artist's work was exhibited in 1996 at the Grand Palais, Paris, the Tate Gallery, London, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.