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A message from Madame Cézanne to her husband

We are in Aix en Provence enjoying all things Cézanne, including a portrait he did of his wife, Hortense (below), now hanging in Le Musée Granet .
Hortense was a frequent subject of her husband's paintings and there are 29 portraits of her in galleries and private collections around the world, but would she be happy that all are on pubic display? Or would she be like many wives today who insist on vetting the photos their husbands take of them before they are posted on Instagram?

Hortense was said to be 'high maintenance', and her portraits have been described as "surly", "remote" and "dismissive", so I reckon she'd have had something to say about her husband's portraits of her. If he was showing the world her pictures today I think her correspondence with her husband would go something like this:

To: Paul_the_peintre_Cézanne
The Portraits

Can you please not show anyone portraits of me until I see them first? As I am the only woman you seem comfortable painting it's the least you can do (BTW, I saw some of your recent nudes painted 'from memory"; honestly Paul, I think it's time we undressed with the lights on).

As for the portraits, what were you thinking? The first one looks like 'Ive fallen head first into a plate of spinach; in the second one my head looks like a giant potato wearing a toupee and I look like I've been pulled through a hedge backwards in the third one. Delete these shockers now; the last thing you want is for the neighbours to see them.
Horty x
1877.jpg 1888-1890.jpg Paul_Cezan..ame_Cezanne.jpg

Posted by Meli Clarke 05:12

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Very funny Mel! I seemed to have missed all but the first of your posts but am now catching up. The weather in France is looking very damp - Sydney has decided to compete today with gale force winds, massive seas and torrential eosin. Ann just sent me a text to say one if the huge figs in her street has just come down and flattened a car. Luckily no-one was in the way! Hope the rain & floods over there don't get in the way of having a great time. xxRuth

by Ruth Turnell

If was Madame Cezanne, I would have been flattered by all the attention, methinks...!!!!

by Josephine

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