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Masterpiece in Focus: Cézanne’s The Feast (c. 1870)

June 19, 2001–Fall 2001

Although the Philadelphia region has one of the world’s strongest concentrations of the work of Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), counting major works both in the museum’s collection and at the Barnes Foundation, there are no major canvases in the area from the first 10 years of his career.

As part of its 125th Anniversary, the museum has borrowed from a private collection The Feast, one of the most ambitious of Cézanne’s early paintings. The brilliantly hued canvas representing lust and sensual delight in a scene depicting the conclusion of a grand banquet provides the centerpiece of a focused installation of nine major paintings and four exquisite drawings, including the drawing shown here, from the artist’s sketchbooks.

Also featured is The Death of Sardanapalus, 1844, a thematically related work in the collection by Eugène Delacroix who inspired the young Cézanne.

Main Building


Joseph Rishel, Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900, the John G. Johnson Collection and the Rodin Museum.

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