Bridge Between Impressionism and Expressionism: Paul Cézanne


Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose works are thought to be a transition from the19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a completely new world of art in the 20th century. These two radically different worlds, the one that ends with an Impressionist movement and the other starts with the Expressionist one, made a completely significant shift in the art history and overall among the artistic and other spheres.

The Impressionist movement that was originated in France in the 19th century was a way to couple both emotions and specific realities of the time. Impressionism tried to capture the impression or the momentary effect of a scene, the impression of light in a scene. The Impressionists actually tried to create the feeling of movement by using long brushstrokes, loose brush strokes, sketchy lines to create the feeling of an impression.

While Impressionists were trying to combine emotions and reality, Expressionists were trying to heighten the emotions through art. The movement existed both in Germany and France and its was actually characterizes by distortion and exaggeration; this was done in order to create emotional effect. Impressionists were portraying subjective reality rather than realism. Artists who painted in this style might incorporate fantasy and violence in their subject matter in order to show the extremes of emotion.

These two completely different worlds that did not share their routs, finally come and meet at the same place, when Paul Cezanne comes forward. He was the one whose artworks can be considered as “mix” of the two worlds and contain characteristics defined for both worlds.

Paul Cezanne’s works are identified as the most dominant influence in the abstraction of the modern art. Cézanne’s artworks that were captured often with repetitive brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognisable. Impressionists were using long brushstrokes to create an impression but Cezanne was using small ones that build up to form complex fields.


Cézanne is considered to be a man that has formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the new different line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne “is the father of us all.”

-Helen Khanoyan


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