Paul Cézanne (19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906) was a French post-impressionist painter, who is credited with initiating the transition from 19th-century Impressionism to 20th-century cubism. Cézanne came from the high alps of south-eastern France, and enjoyed financial security throughout his life as a result of his father’s banking career. Along with Émile Zola and Baptistin Baille, Cézanne was known as one of "Les Trois Inséparables" in Collège Bourbon, before attending the free Municipal School of Drawing in Aix from age 18. For the next three years, his interest in drawing was balanced against his father’s preference that Cézanne attend law school at the University of Aix. Nevertheless, Cézanne broke with his father’s wishes from age 22, encouraged by Zola to commit himself to his artistic development. After moving to Paris in the mid-1860s, Cézanne formed a close friendship with Camille Pissarro, and his artistic development was focussed on the simplification of naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials: he wanted to "treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone". Both Matisse and Picasso referred to Cézanne as “the father of us all”.
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