The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne

June 22–September 22, 2014

This tightly curated exhibition charted a thematic and chronological sweep of Cézanne’s still-life painting, showing how the “Master of Aix” recast the genre and set it on a new course. Traversing the breadth of his still-life production—from early paintings engaging with past masters to very late works unique to him, and treating a range of themes including apples, flowers, and skulls—this select gathering of paintings offered viewers a brief reappraisal of Cézanne’s monumental achievement in this genre.

Cézanne’s art remains central to enduring concerns of art making, touching on materiality and representation, as well as on the interpretive foundations of art history itself. Comprising 23 Cézanne masterpieces, The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne sought to render succinctly the richness and novelty of still lifes created by an artist of rare intuition and unerring aesthetic sensibility.

Curated by Benedict Leca, director for curatorial affairs, Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Coordinating curator for the Barnes Foundation was Judith F. Dolkart, deputy director of art and archival collections and Gund Family Chief Curator.

Additional venue: Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, November 1, 2014–January 31, 2015

The Barnes collection contains 69 works by Cézanne, including 16 still lifes, all of which were on display during the exhibition.


Cezanne at the Barnes – 6ABC Loves the Arts [video]

"This show demonstrates how the Barnes' special exhibitions can encourage visitors to see the collection with fresh eyes and notice treasures hidden in plain sight." –Philadelphia Inquirer

"Cézanne's inimitable touch and tenacious presence in all of his art at the Barnes becomes even more apparent, and his pre-eminence as a modern painter undeniable." –The Wall Street Journal

"Each of these...vignettes is beautifully nuanced in texture and hue, reflecting why the artist is considered a true pioneer of his craft." –Architectural Digest

"Today Cézanne is in the pantheon of all-time great artists. Evidence of that is in the Barnes Foundation's permanent collection and, until the end of September, its special still-life exhibition." –NPR

The exhibition at the Barnes Foundation was sponsored by

Morgan Stanley


was the contributing sponsor.

Generous support was also provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation,
Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation,
Margaret and Tom Whitford, an Anonymous donor, Bruce and Robbi Toll,
Constance and Sankey Williams, an Anonymous donor, the Oliver Family Foundation, 
Brooke J. Lenfest, and the Alter Family Foundation.

Funding for the Paul Cézanne audio guide of the Barnes
Foundation permanent collection was generously provided by
Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden.

This exhibition was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council
on the Arts and the Humanities.

The exhibition was organized by the Art Gallery of Hamilton in Ontario,
in a special collaboration with the Barnes Foundation. The exhibition was
made possible with the generous support of Joey and Toby Tanenbaum
and RBC Royal Bank.


Image: Paul Cézanne. Still Life with Apples and a Glass of Wine, 1877-79. Oil on canvas, 10 1/2 x 12 7/8 inches (26.7 x 32.7 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

Purchase Cézanne-Related Items

A broad selection of Cézanne-related items are available in the Barnes Foundation Shop.