Following the Courtauld’s magnificent loan by Manet in 2017, Paul Cézanne’s iconic Card Players, 1892-6, will now visit as part of a sustained national partnership. Cézanne’s famous series of paintings of peasant card players have long been considered to be among his most powerful works and this canvas is one of the acknowledged highlights of the Courtauld’s holdings.
Having been rejected by the official Paris Salon in 1870, Cézanne exhibited at the first Impressionist group exhibition in 1874. However, his work was radically different from that of his contemporaries and found little favour with critics and collectors. Following his lack of success in Paris, Cézanne withdrew into relative obscurity at his family home near Aix-en-Provence. Here he formed a deep bond with the landscape and the local people, such as Paulin Paulet, a gardener on his estate who is depicted in the painting. The Card Players is a masterpiece of Cézanne’s and his highly original and ground-breaking approach to painting led to him being considered one of the most important artists of his time and ‘the father of modern art’.
The Cézanne loan will be accompanied by an extensive display of nineteenth and early twentieth century art drawn from the Ferens permanent collection exploring related themes of peasants and rural life. A number of rarely seen watercolours and prints are included as well as visitor favourites; Walter Langley’s ‘Memories’, 1906, and Joseph Wright Barker’s large canvas ‘Farm Horses and a Foal at a Ford’, 1915
The Ferens has a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures, including works by European Old Masters, portraiture, marine painting, and modern and contemporary British art. Highlights include masterpieces by Lorenzetti, Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Frederick Leighton, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing. With a regular programme of events, guided tours and changing exhibitions, there’s always something new to explore. You can also enjoy refreshments in our popular cafe, Venue Hull.