Merleau-Ponty about Le doute de Cézanne
Merleau-Ponty’s essay about Cézanne’s doubt from 1946 is still in discussion. Merleau-Ponty tries to explain the peculiarities of Cézanne’s pictorial language, for instance his abandonment of the geometrical perspective, as expression of, what he calls, the “primordial perception”, which is free from the distortions of metaphysical dualism and of modern sciences. There are two main problems here: 1. that primordiality remains an obscure notion, which is more explained by Cézannes work, than it explains it. 2. Merleau-Ponty tends to forget, that Cézanne’s perception is first of all a painters perception, inspired by the idea of what a painting should be and by a conception of the physical performances by which it comes into being. Cézanne tries to liberate painting from the Albertinian idea, that the work is similar to a window, opening the view on a section of reality. Contrary to this he stresses the autonomy of the work, its presence as being painted, without giving up its contact to the reality depicted.
Adriani, Götz. 1993. Cézanne, Gemälde. Köln: Kunsthalle Tübingen.
Hegel, G.W.F. 1970. “Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik III.” In Hegel, Werke in 20 Bände, Volume 15. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1964. Sense and Non-Sense. Northwestern University Press. translated by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Patricia Allen Dreyfus.
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--- 1996. Sens et non-sens (1966). Paris: Édition Gallimard.
Novotny, Fritz. 2011. “Das Problem des Menschen Cézanne im Verhältnis zu seiner Kunst (1932).” In Paul Cézanne. Gesammelte Schriften zu seinem Werk und Materialien aus dem Nachlass. Wien: Klever Verlag. Hrsg. und eingeleitet von Gabriel Ramin Schor.
Rilke, Rainer Maria. 1983. Briefe über Cézanne. Frankfurt: Insel Verlag. Hrsg. von Clara Rilke. Besorgt und mit einem Nachwort versehen von Heinrich Wiegand Petzet.
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