Paul Cezanne (French, 1839-1906) has influenced nearly every avant-garde movement in painting, and is credited with paving the way for the emergence of twentieth-century modernism, both visually and conceptually.
Starting out, Cezanne was strongly influenced by Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet. In 1872 Camille Pissarro made the most significant influence on Cezanne when he introduced him to outdoor painting, which shifted Cezanne’s palette from dark tones to bright hues as he began to concentrate on scenes of farmland and rural villages.
Yet the artist was dissatisfied with the impressionist approach and eventually developed his own unique style in which he applied his pigments to the canvas in a series of discrete, methodical brushstrokes as though he were "constructing" a picture rather than "painting" it. It took time for his work to be accepted by the artistic establishment. Cezanne was rejected by not just the official Paris Salon but also the Salon des Refusés from 1864 to 1869. It was not until 1895 that he received his first solo exhibition.
In the last years of his life Cézanne produced a stunning series of watercolors that brought his career to a complex, and triumphant, conclusion. A characteristic of the watercolors of Cézanne is the striking balance he was able to achieve between the pencil drawing itself, the delicate touches of watercolor laid over this, and the areas of the paper left untouched by pencil or paintbrush. As a result, Cézanne's watercolor technique allowed the image to unfold in a subtle interplay of overlapping strokes of color wash. Superimposed patches of color combine to create additional colors; rarely were paints mixed on the palette before application to the paper. Graphite pencil lines often play a major role in the composition, defining and supporting the structure.