This portrait was made by the painter Paul Cezanne when he was 51 years old. Among all his wife's portraits of Cezanne, this painting is more lively and full of tenderness. Of course, it also shows the lady's a hint of melancholy. Even though, her face is very serious and gentle, giving a plump and full impression. These feelings are mainly because that the painter emphasizes the expressive arc curve which is full of various parts of the characters to enhance the physique stereo feeling together with the color contrast.
To appreciate the portraits of Cezanne, first you must lose the general concept of the portrait. Portrait is usually considered to accord with our pleasure or convey the character content in a very long time at least before Cezanne. Figures looks and life are what portraits should tell us. Of course, in the actual works, the artist will concentrate on according to the factors of their personality, social custom and the will of the leading character. Some artists try to reproduce the model's appearance; some prefer to show the character and mental state of the model. In the depiction of portraits of nobility and rulers, we must emphasize their social status and authority. Also we must penetrate some stories etc. Therefore, the first thing that the painter must consider is of course the portrait composition, decorative and props, scenes, and background modeling.
However, this portrait in front of us seems not to tell us anything about the model. What we can know is what is seen in the painting. Mrs. Cezanne is dressed in blue and purple clothes, sitting in a chair. Her posture is extremely common and expression is also very stiff without any vigor. Even Mrs. Cezanne's face is not very clear, because Mrs. Cezanne's faces several other portraits are different.
Only this kind of attitude can make the model with no action, not even a hint of dynamic state. Cezanne has no less than thirty times to describe himself. Only a painting depicts his holding palette and facing the canvas to show himself as a painter. Similarly, the painting's background and props do not contain any meaning. What is Cezanne interested in? It is the essence of shaping in the paintings. Sometimes, we see his works and will misunderstand he just wants to show color and shape. In fact, Cezanne wrote to his friend Jonson Gasquet, "It needs lots of time to analyze the models and implement them in the canvas." The meaning of this sentence is to say, he should first analyze the nature of models and then implement the analysis results in the canvas. Cezanne must go through the two steps to complete a portrait.