Madame Cezanne

Grace Hartigan (American, 1922 – 2008)
Oil on canvas
Canvas : 4 ft. 6 1/4 in. x 42 in. (1.4 x 1.1 m)
Frame : 4 ft. 7 1/8 in. x 43 1/4 in. (1.4 x 1.1 m)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
Object Number

In 1957, Life Magazine called Grace Hartigan “the most celebrated of the young American women painters.” Hartigan was a major figure in the New York art scene throughout the 1950s and from 1965 to 2008 she served as Chair of the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Hartigan’s paintings often employ art historical references to comment on current social and cultural issues. This canvas alludes to a group of portraits painted by Paul Cezanne in the late 19th century depicting his wife, Hortense Fiquet. Although Fiquet sat as a model for Cezanne at least twenty-nine times and was obviously important to him, she has received scant attention from Cezanne scholars. By disintegrating the image of Madame Cezanne into quasi-abstract splatters of paint, Hartigan encourages viewers to think about the many women whose roles in the art world have been ignored over the centuries.

Object Type