February 2023

Cézanne: the (unlikely) father of modern art

Cézanne is renowned as the great 19th-century painter of still lives and bathers, French peasants and the Mont Sainte-Victoire, working in the most traditional of genres, from landscape to portraiture. But in his work of the 1880s, ‘90s and early 1900s, he began a revolution in painting, creating what the art historian Ernst Gombrich called ‘a landslide in art’. His ever-more courageous, ‘modern’ mode of painting – which insisted on conveying the essence of a subject rather than its mere ‘impression’ – showed a radical disregard for the realism dominant since the Renaissance and pointed the way to the increasingly abstract experiments of the 20th century. But how was it that a reclusive, deeply devout anti-modernist came to be the founder of modern art, a towering figure described by Matisse as ‘the father of us all’? And where is his influence still in evidence today?


The lecturer on this occasion is Jacky Klein

Jacky Klein is an art historian, publisher, writer and broadcaster, specialising in modern and contemporary art. After studying at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, she worked as a curator at a number of leading galleries: Tate, the Barbican, the Courtauld and the Hayward. In 2008, she moved sideways into the world of art publishing, first as Commissioning Editor at Thames & Hudson, then as Executive Editor at Tate Publishing and subsequently as Director of HENI Publishing, a small independent arts publisher.  

Jacky has presented and contributed to a range of television programmes for the BBC, and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s arts review programme, Front Row. She has appeared on Channel 5, the Travel Channel and Bloomberg TV, and has written and presented a number of online films and livestreams for Tate, Christie’s, HENI Talks and the Art Fund.  An experienced lecturer in museums, galleries and at literary festivals, she has taught at a number of arts institutions including University College London, Christie’s Education, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts. A public and passionate advocate for the arts, she is a Trustee of the UK Association for Art History, and is currently Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute on their Masters programme, ‘Curating the Art Museum’.

This lecture will be given at 1045 a.m on February 9th 2023