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The Negro Scipio, 1867 - by Paul Cezanne

The Negro Scipio belonged to Claude Monet, who owned thirteen other works by Cezanne. He kept it in his bedroom with his favourite paintings, for he considered it to be un morceau de premiere force ('a work of the greatest strength').

A comparison with Mary Magdalene, a large work painted by Cezanne during the same period, bears out the suggestion that The Negro Scipio may have been the inspiration for the painting now in the musee d'Orsay. Both show a figure in a similar position and have the same colour range - blue clothes, a dark background and a large light area to the right. However, while the figure of Mary Magdalene is an expression of despair and sorrow, Scipio appears merely to be a study in anatomy, with, unusually for the 1860s and 1870s, no underlying narrative.

Masterpieces of Paul Cezanne

  • The Large Bathers
  • Mont Sainte-Victoire
  • The Card Players
  • Mont Sainte-Victoire seen from Bellevue
  • Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier
  • Boy in a Red Vest
  • Still Life with Apples and Oranges
  • Kitchen Table
  • Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1885
  • A Modern Olympia
  • Still Life with Basket of Apples
  • Portrait of Chocquet
  • Portrait of Gustave Geffroy
  • The Abduction
  • Three Bather
  • The Bather
  • Le Chateau Noir
  • Still Life with Peppermint Bottle
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