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Still-life with apples

The Forest Clearing

Paul Cézanne 1839 -1906

Oil on canvas, 19 x 27 cm

Lent by the Provost and Fellows of King’s College (Keynes collection)

Photo © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

This painting was executed sometime between 1877, when Cézanne exhibited for the second and last time with the Impressionist painters, and 1878, when he returned to live in Provence. Cézanne himself claimed that he planned to conquer Paris with an apple, and his paintings of this single fruit have in fact proved to be among his most admired works.

Bought by Degas for 100 francs in January 1896, it was acquired in Paris by John Maynard Keynes at the sale of the contents of Degas’s studio in March 1918. It is one of the most celebrated of all his still-lifes, and, through Keynes’s friendship with the painter and writer Roger Fry, and the circle of Bloomsbury writers, came to be crucial in the dissemination of knowledge of Cézanne’s work in England.

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