Cézanne's still lifes
are both traditional and modern. The fruits and objects are readily identifiable,
but they have no aroma, no sensual or tactile appeal and no other function
other than as passive decorative objects coexisting in the same flat space.
The special attraction of still life to Cézanne
was the ability, to some extent, to control the structure. He brooded over
his apples, jugs, tables, and curtains, arranging them with infinite variety.
Still Life with Apples and Peaches glows with a romantic energy, as hugely
present at Mont Sainte-Victoire. Here too is a mountain, and here too sanctity
and victory: the fruits lie on the table with an active power that is not
just seen but experienced. The jug bulges, not with any contents, but with
its own weight of being. The curtain swags gloriously, while the great waterfall
of the napkin absorbs and radiates light onto the table on which all this
life is earthed.
Apples, Peaches and Grapes