Cézanne Portraits @ The National Portrait Gallery

Before this show, I would have argued that Cezanne was a better landscape and still-life painter than a portraiture artist. I used to love the disconcerting perspective of his tables, with apples so close to falling out of the painting that they nearly bounce along the museum floor.

But, this exhibition changed my mind. The NPG has brought together over 50 of Cézanne’s greatest portraits, including Portrait in a Bowler Hat, 1892,  which was his first ever self portrait, based on an 1861 photograph. The colours, the brushstrokes, the dimensionality - it’s all here.  Cezanne reduces his sitters to shapes of reflected light. It sounds cold and unfeeling but the result is majestic. I couldn't help but notice how ahead of his time he was - you can nearly see the birth of modern portraiture.

by Sophia Brenninkmeyer - see more reviews

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Info & hours

The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856.


Monday: 10am – 6pm

Tuesday: 10am– 6 pm

Wednesday: 10am– 6 pm

Thursday: 10am– 9 pm (LATE NIGHT)

Friday: 10am – 9 pm (LATE NIGHT)

Saturday: 10am– 6 pm

Sunday: 10am– 6 pm

Tickets £18 (£20 with donation) Concessions £16.50 (£18.50 with donation) Advance booking is highly recommended for this exhibition.