By Amit Roy
FOR those who like portraiture, Cézanne Portraits, which opened last week at the National Portrait Gallery and will remain on display until February 11, 2018, is a treat.
“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition,” says the NPG’s director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan.
The exhibition brings together some 50 of the 200 portraits Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) painted during his career. They are borrowed from collections in Brazil, Denmark, France, Russia, Sweden, the US and the UK and include his self portraits in a bowler hat (pictured), as well as those of his wife, Hortense Fiquet, his maternal uncle Dominique Aubert and people he came across in everyday life, such as a “man with a pipe” or a “boy in a red waistcoat”.
One of my favourites is that of The Artist’s Father, Reading L’Événement”, from 1866. Louis-Auguste Cézanne was almost Indian in the way he wanted his son to do a proper job in banking or the law rather than art.
By and large, Asian artists – with some honourable exceptions (Shanti Panchal) – do not go in for portrait painting, which is a pity.
Plenty of photographs were taken of the movers and shakers in the Asian community at the launch of the GG2 Power List last Thursday (26). But we could have done with a latter-day Cézanne