Paul Cézanne was born on the 19th of January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France. He studied law at university before leaving to pursue his artistic career. Cézanne moved to Paris aged 22, where he befriended the Impressionist painter, Camille Pissarro, who was to be a great influence on the young man.
He had his first exhibition in 1863 and he exhibited his works twice along with those of other Impressionists, but he did not have his first solo exhibition until 1895, well into his career.
Cézanne's art was not well received in all quarters. In 1903 French newspaper L'Intransigeant published an article entitled Love for the Ugly in which viewers were said to have laughed at Cézanne's works.
Cézanne was still working at the age of 67 when he was caught outside in a torrent of rain. He continued to paint for two hours during the storm, before collapsing whilst making his way home. He died of pneumonia just a few days later on the 22nd of October 1906.
Cézanne was a pioneer in the art world and his paintings were a major influence on the modern artists who came after him, such as Matisse and Picasso. 20th century art may not have been the same without him.