|St Victoire - the motif ocurring throughout the work of Cezanne.|
It was an era of transition. Cezanne and his artist colleagues were seeking new forms and new visions. They (Van Gough, Matisse, Gauguin, Bonnard and later Picasso and others) gathered in the south of France, inspired by its light, its beauty and its hisory to paint and experiment as artists had never done before.. Foe them it was an 'arcadia', a golden vision of romantic perfection.
Cezanne is regarded as the father of modern art as it evolved from classic representational art through the impressionists and finally to cubism and abstract art. He is said (by his contemporaries) to have begun the journey. It's been great to follow this story through the streets of Aix and through two excellent exhibitions - one in Aix and the other in Marseille.
Now, Lorenzo and the italians were travelling this part of the world as these new ideas were emerging and I suspect that, though they would not have been aware of any of these artists, they were nevertheless infected by the romantic stories and arcadian visions of the South Pacific and the utopian dreams of Europe when it came to imagining this distant idyll. In a very weird way Lorenzo and his family and friends were caught up in, not only their struggle to escape poverty, but also a quest for a dream of something new and different. Their utopia. their arcadia.