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It’s true that Picasso’s collection does not include any other Impressionist work of art, although Cezanne and Renoir are, however, well represented: in many respects they are, in fact, dissidents of Impressionism.

Picasso was primarily interested in Cézanne whose painting moves away from an orientation that is both too imitative and too immediate. With his awareness of volume and the importance he attached to geometric structure, Cézanne opened the way for the future Cubists. In terms of Renoir’s painting, which Picasso had distanced himself from at the beginning («We were twenty-five years old, Renoir was very successful and we needed to do something different», he remembers)

Masson, André, Le Rebelle du surréalisme, écrits. Paris, Hermann, 1976
, he becomes a role model from the end of 1910. Renoir regenerates a “classical” vein without being crude. His great nudes, robust and at the same time sensual, are raised up like a wall against the abstract tendency of the most radical artists of the avant-garde.

Each one in their own way – Renoir, with his great nudes, and Cézanne, with his landscapes and solid figures –praise order and the authority of form. Faced with Impressionist “deconstruction”, but also faced with the violent representations of reality practised by the more intransigent “modern artists” (artists as Picabia, Duchamp, etc), they appeared like didactic figures of a certain “modern classicism” that was very successful throughout the 1920’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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