Portrait of Anthony Valabrègue

Object Details


Portrait of Anthony Valabrègue


Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906)




1869 - 1871


Oil on canvas


60 × 50.2 cm (23 5/8 × 19 3/4 in.)

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When a jury member at the Paris Salon of 1866 first saw Paul Cézanne's portrait of the journalist and critic Antony Valabrègue, he exclaimed that the portrait was not painted with a knife but with a pistol. Although the Salon refused him admission, Cézanne continued to paint many portraits of his friend, including the present example, thought to have been painted around 1869 to 1871.

For this painting, Cézanne used a palette knife rather than brushes. With the spatula-like instrument, he applied paint in thick, successive layers, giving the surface a complex, rough-and-smooth texture. He then used the knife to squeeze the paints together so that they mixed directly on the canvas. In this fashion Cézanne moved the paint around, eliminating contour lines and instead creating impastoed areas of color, as if sculpting in paint. In another portrait of his friend made four years earlier, the coarse, almost violent appearance created by Cézanne's technique led Valabrègue to complain in a letter to the writer Zola: "He has given me such a fierce complexion that it reminds me of the statue of Champfleury when it was stained with squashed blackberries."


Ambroise Vollard, 1867 - 1939 (Paris, France)

- 1896

Possibly Comte Armand Doria, 1824 - 1896 (Château d'Orrouy, France), possibly by inheritance to his son, François Doria, 1896.

by 1913

Count François Doria, 1853 - 1935

possibly by 1915 - 1929

Auguste Pellerin, 1852 - 1929 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Jean-Victor Pellerin, 1929.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial files, annotation ("by March 1915") on computer printout of Rewald catalogue raisonné entry draft, provided by Galerie Beyeler, August 4, 1987.

1929 - 1951

Jean-Victor Pellerin (Paris, France), sold to Wildenstein and Company, 1951.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial files, letter from Wildenstein & Co., June 24, 2002.

1951 -

Wildenstein & Co. (New York), sold to André Meyer and Mrs. André Meyer.

by 1962 - 1980

André Meyer, 1898 - 1979 (France; New York, New York)

by 1962 - 1980

and Mrs. André Meyer [sold, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, October 22, 1980, lot 21, to Galerie Beyeler.]

1980 - 1985

Galerie Beyeler (Basel, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.

Ausstellung (April to June, 1904) (no cat. no.)
  • Paul Cassirer (Berlin), April to June, 1904
Grosse Kunstausstellung Stuttgart, 1913 (May to October, 1913) (Cat. 330)
  • Königlichen Kunstgebäude am Schlossplatz (Stuttgart), May to October, 1913
L'Impressionnisme (June 15 to September 29, 1935) (Cat. 9)
  • Palais des beaux-arts (Brussels), June 15 to September 29, 1935
Cézanne (May to October, 1936) (Cat. 17)
  • Musée de l'Orangerie (Paris), May to October, 1936
Homage to Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) (July 1939) (Cat. 9)
  • Wildenstein & Co. (London), July to July, 1939
Exhibition of the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. André Meyer (June 9 to July 8, 1962) (no cat. no.)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), June 9 to July 8, 1962
Portraits et figures / Faces and Figures / Gesichter und Gestalten (February to April, 1982) (Cat. 16)
  • Galerie Beyeler (Basel), February to April, 1982
Paul Cézanne: Peintures, aquarelles, dessins (June to September, 1983) (Cat. 6)
  • Galerie Beyeler (Basel), June to September, 1983
Cézanne: The Early Years, 1859-1872 (April 22, 1988 to April 30, 1989) (Cat. 56)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), April 22 to August 21, 1988
  • Musée d'Orsay (Paris), September 15 to December 31, 1988
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), January 29 to April 30, 1989
Cézanne (September 25, 1995 to September 1, 1996) (Cat. 8)
  • Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (Paris), September 25, 1995 to January 7, 1996
  • Tate Britain (London), February 8 to April 28, 1996
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia), May 26 to September 1, 1996
Cézanne and the Past: Tradition and Creativity (October 25, 2012 to February 17, 2013) (Cat. 10)
  • Szépmüvészeti Múzeum (Budapest), October 25, 2012 to February 17, 2013
Cézanne Portraits (June 13, 2017 to July 1, 2018)
  • Musée d'Orsay (Paris), June 13 to September 24, 2017
  • National Portrait Gallery (London), October 26, 2017 to February 11, 2018
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), March 25 to July 1, 2018

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Schaller, H. O. "Die erste grosse Stuttgarter Kunstausstellung." Kunst und Kunstler 11 (1913), p. 583, ill.

Grosse Kunstausstellung Stuttgart, 1913, exh. cat. (Stuttgart: Königliche Kunstgebäude, Schloßplatz, 1913), p. 63, no. 330.

Mack, Gerstle. Paul Cézanne (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1935), pp. 50, 142.

Lord, Douglas [Douglas Cooper]. Review of L'Impressionnisme. Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts. The Burlington Magazine67, no. 389 (August 1935), p. 87.

L'Impressionnisme, exh. cat. (Brussels: Palais des Beaux-Arts, 1935), unpaginated, no. 9.

Boyé, Maurice-Pierre. "Cézanne et Antony Valabrègue." Beaux-Arts: Chronique des arts et de la curiosité, n.s., 74, no. 191 (August 28, 1936), p. 1, ill.

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Bagarry, Adrien-Pierre. "Le centenaire de Cézanne." La renaissance 22, no. 1 (March 1939), p. 3 (possibly Getty painting).

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Cogniat, Raymond. Cézanne (New York: French Library of Fine Arts, 1939), pl. 27.

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Dorival, Bernard. Cézanne (Paris: Éditions Pierre Tisné, 1948), p. 29.

Dorival, Bernard. Cézanne. H. H. A. Thackthwaite, trans. (New York: Continental Book Center, 1948), p. 28.

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Orienti, Sandra, and Alfonso Gatto. L'opera completa di Cézanne (Milan: Rizzoli, 1970), p. 89, no. 78, ill.

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Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's (1980-1981), p. 106, ill.

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Kendall, Richard, ed. Cézanne by Himself: Drawings, Paintings, Writings (London: Macdonald Orbis, 1988), pp. 45, 312, ill.

Gowing, Lawrence. "The Early Work of Paul Cézanne." In Cézanne: The Early Years 1859-1872, exh. cat. Gowing, Lawrence et al., eds. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, with Harry N. Abrams, 1988), p. 17.

Patin, Sylvie. "The Collectors of Cézanne's Early Works." In Cézanne: The Early Years 1859-1872, exh. cat. Gowing, Lawrence et al., eds. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, with Harry N. Abrams, 1988), pp. 58, 60.

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Hoog, Michel. Cézanne, "puissant et solitaire" (Paris: Gallimard; Réunion des musées nationaux, 1989), p. 23, ill.

Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, Nina. Review of Cézanne: The Early Years 1859-1872, by Lawrence Gowing et al. Art Journal49, no. 1 (Spring 1990), p. 72.

Plazy, Gilles. Cézanne (Paris: Chêne, 1991), p. 58, fig. 3 (in reverse).

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Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 25, ill.

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Conisbee, Philip. "Cézanne's Provence." In Cézanne in Provence, exh. cat.(Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, with Yale University Press, 2006), p. 11, fig. 10.

Geskó, Judit, ed. Cézanne and the Past: Tradition and Creativity, exh. cat. (Budapest: Museum of Fine Arts, 2012), pp. 248-49, no. 10, ill., entry by Judit Geskó.