塞尚的疑惑 02

It is thanks to the impressionists, and particularly to Pissarro, that Cézanne later conceived painting not as the incarnation of imagined scenes, the projection of dreams outward, but as the exact study of appearances:
less a work of the studio than a working from nature.

由於受到印象派畫家--特別是畢沙羅 (Pissarro) 的影響,塞尚後來認為繪畫並不是想像場景的具象化、或夢幻外顯的結果,而應是表象的精細研究,繪事不僅止於畫室,更應該根據自然。

He quickly parted ways with the impressionists, however. Impressionism
was trying to capture, in the painting, the very way in which objects
strike our eyes and attack our senses. They are therefore almost always executed in broad strokes and
present the moral physiognomy of the actions rather than their visible aspect.


Impressionism represented
them in the atmosphere through which instantaneous perception gives
them to us, without absolute contours, bound together by light and air.

To capture this envelope of light, one had to exclude siennas, ochres, and
black and use only the seven colors of the spectrum.


In order to represent
the color of objects, it was not enough to put their local tone on the canvas,
that is, the color they take on isolated from their surroundings; one
also had to pay attention to the phenomena of contrast which modify local
colors in nature.


Furthermore, by a sort of reversal, every color we see
in nature elicits the vision of its complement; and these complementaries
heighten one another.


To achieve sunlit colors in a picture which will be
seen in the dim light of apartments, not only must there be a green—if
you are painting grass—but also the complementary red which will make
it vibrate.


Finally, the impressionists break down the local tone itself. One
can generally obtain any color by juxtaposing rather than mixing the colors
which make it up, thereby achieving a more vibrant tone.


The result
of these procedures was that the canvas—which no longer corresponded
point by point to nature—restored a general truth of the impression
through the action of the separate parts upon one another.


But at the same
time, depicting the atmosphere and breaking up the tones submerged
the object and caused it to lose its proper weight.

The composition of
Cézanne’s palette leads one to suppose that he had another aim. Instead
of the seven colors of the spectrum, one finds eighteen colors—six reds,
five yellows, three blues, three greens, and one black.


The use of warm colors
and black shows that Cézanne wants to represent the object, to find it
again behind the atmosphere.


Likewise, he does not break up the tone;
rather, he replaces this technique with graduated mixtures, with a progression
of chromatic nuances across the object, with a modulation of colors
which stays close to the object’s form and to the light it receives.


The suppression
of exact contours in certain cases and giving color priority over
the outline obviously do not have the same sense in Cézanne and in impressionism.


The object is no longer covered by reflections and lost in
its relationships to the air and to other objects: it seems subtly illuminated
from within, light emanates from it, and the result is an impression of solidity
and material substance.


lost 在此是过去分词,与前面的covered 对等,no longer covered and lost

Moreover, Cézanne does not give up making
the warm colors vibrate, but achieves this chromatic sensation through
the use of blue.


One must therefore say that Cézanne wished to return to the object
without abandoning the impressionist aesthetic which takes nature as its


Émile Bernard reminded him that, for the classical artists, painting
demanded outline, composition, and distribution of light.


replied: “They created pictures; we are attempting a piece of nature.”


said of the old masters that they “replaced reality with imagination and by
the abstraction which accompanies it.” Of nature, he said, “the artist must
conform to this perfect work of art.


Everything comes to us from nature;
we exist through it; let us forget everything else.” He stated that he wanted
to turn impressionism into “something solid, like the art in the museums.”

His painting would be a paradox: investigate reality without departing
from sensations, with no other guide than the immediate impression of
nature, without following the contours, with no outline to enclose the
color, with no perspectival or pictorial composition.


This is what Bernard
called Cézanne’s suicide: aiming for reality while denying himself the
means to attain it.


This is the reason for his difficulties and for the distortions
one finds in his pictures between 1870 and 1890. Cups and saucers
on a table seen from the side should be elliptical, but Cézanne paints the
two ends of the ellipse swollen and expanded.


The work table in his portrait
of Gustave Geffroy stretches, contrary to the laws of perspective, into
the lower part of the picture.

在古斯塔夫‧喬弗瑞(Gustave Geoffrey)的肖像畫中,那張工作檯拉得非常長,直伸向此畫的底部,這顯然違反了視點法則。

By departing from the outline, Cézanne
would be handing himself over to the chaos of the sensations. Now, the
sensations would capsize the objects and constantly suggest illusions—for
example, the illusion we have when we move our heads that objects themselves
are moving—if our judgment did not constantly set these appearances straight.

According to Bernard, Cézanne engulfed “the painting in
ignorance and his mind in shadows.”


In fact, one can judge his painting in this way only by letting half of
what he said drop away and only by closing one’s eyes to what he painted.


It is clear from his conversations with Émile Bernard that Cézanne
was always seeking to avoid the ready-made alternatives suggested to him:
the senses versus intelligence; the painter who sees versus the painter who
thinks; nature versus composition; primitivism versus tradition.


“We have
to develop an optics,” Cézanne said, “by which I mean a logical vision—
that is, one with nothing absurd.”


“Are you speaking of our nature?” asked
Bernard. Cézanne: “It has to do with both.” “But aren’t nature and art different?”


“I want to unite them. Art is a personal apperception. I place this
apperception in the sensations and I ask intelligence to organize them
into a work.”1


But even these formulas put too much emphasis on the ordinary
notions of “sensibility” or “sensations” and “intelligence”—which
is why Cézanne could not persuade and this is why he liked to paint better.


Rather than apply to his work dichotomies, which moreover belong
more to the scholarly traditions than to the founders—philosophers or
painters—of these traditions, we would do better to let ourselves be persuaded
to the proper sense of his painting, which is to challenge those dichotomies.


Cézanne did not think he had to choose between sensation
and thought, as if he were deciding between chaos and order. He did not
want to separate the stable things which appear before our gaze and their
fleeting way of appearing.


He wanted to paint matter as it takes on form,
the birth of order through spontaneous organization. He makes a basic
distinction not between “the senses” and “intelligence” but rather between
the spontaneous order of perceived things and the human order of
ideas and sciences.

We perceive things; we agree about them; we are anchored
in them; and it is with “nature” as our base that we construct the


Cézanne wanted to paint this primordial world, and this is why
his pictures give us the impression of nature at its origin, while photographs
of the same landscapes suggest man’s works, conveniences, and
imminent presence.

塞尚想要畫出這個原初世界(primordial world),他的畫似乎因此將自然表現得素淨純粹,相對於同樣的風景照片來看,照片本身提示了人工、便捷而急迫的呈現。

Cézanne never wished to “paint like a savage.” He
wanted to put intelligence, ideas, sciences, perspective, and tradition back
in touch with the world of nature which they were intended to comprehend.
He wished, as he said, to confront the sciences with the nature
“from which they came.”


By remaining faithful to the phenomena in his investigations of perspective,
Cézanne discovered what recent psychologists have come to formulate:
the lived perspective, that of our perception, is not a geometric
or photographic one.

由於塞尚一直忠實於現象本身,在他對視點的探究中,他發現了晚近心理學家所發掘出來的--生活的視點(lived perspective)。這是我們日常知覺的真正狀態,它不同於幾何式和攝影式的視點。

In perception, the objects that are near appear
smaller, those far away larger, than they do in a photograph, as we see in
the cinema when an approaching train gets bigger much faster than a
real train would under the same circumstances.


To say that a circle seen
obliquely is seen as an ellipse is to substitute for our actual perception the
schema of what we would have to see if we were cameras. In fact, we see a
form which oscillates around the ellipse without being an ellipse.




In a portrait of Mme Cézanne, the border of the wallpaper on one side of her
body does not form a straight line with that on the other: and indeed it is
known that if a line passes beneath a wide strip of paper, the two visible
segments appear dislocated.



Gustave Geffroy’s table stretches into the bottom
of the picture, and indeed, when our eye runs over a large surface,
the images it successively receives are taken from different points of view,
and the whole surface is warped.



It is true that I freeze these distortions
in repainting them on the canvas; I stop the spontaneous movement in
which they pile up in perception and tend toward the geometric perspective.



This is also what happens with colors. Pink upon gray paper colors
the background green.


Colors 在此是动词,作「改变颜色」解释,而非名词「颜色」,

Academic painting shows the background as gray,
assuming that the picture will produce the same effect of contrast as the
real object.



Impressionist painting uses green in the background in order
to achieve a contrast as brilliant as that of objects in nature. Doesn’t this
falsify the color relationship?


It would if it stopped there, but the painter’s
task is to modify all the other colors in the picture so that they take away
from the green background its characteristics of a real color.



Similarly, it is Cézanne’s genius that when the overall composition of the picture is
seen globally, perspectival distortions are no longer visible in their own
right but rather contribute, as they do in natural vision, to the impression
of an emerging order, an object in the act of appearing, organizing itself
before our eyes.



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