Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair

about 1877
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)


72.4 x 55.9 cm (28 1/2 x 22 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)





Cézanne’s wife, Hortense Fiquet, was his most frequent model—he painted nearly thirty portraits of her. Posing for Cézanne demanded great patience, for he was a slow and painstaking worker and always required the presence of the model. This early portrait has a serene monumentality, its many small blocks of subtly varied color locked into a harmonious whole. In one of his most frequently quoted statements, Cézanne said, “I want to make of Impressionism an art as solid as that of the museums.”


Ambroise Vollard (b. 1867 - d. 1939), Paris [see note 1]; by 1907, probably sold by Vollard to Egisto Fabbri (b. 1866 - d. 1933), Florence [see note 2]; 1928, sold by Fabbri to Georges Wildenstein and Paul Rosenberg and Co., Paris (stock no. 2265) [see note 3]. By 1930, Robert Treat Paine II (b. 1861 - d. 1943), Boston [see note 4]; 1944, bequest of Robert Treat Paine II to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 9, 1944)

[1] Vollard archives, no. 231. See John Rewald, "The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné" (New York, 1996), vol. 1, cat. no. 324, pp. 219-220. [2] Egisto Fabbri was one of the first collectors to purchase the works of Cézanne through Vollard. According to notes in the curatorial file, Fabbri lent this painting to the Salon d'Automne, Paris, in 1907. Also see Lucien Henraux, "I Cezanne della Raccolta Fabbri," Dedalo 1 (1920): 53-58 and ibid., "Une grande collection de Cézanne en Italie: La Collection Egisto Fabbri," L'Amour de l'Art November 1924, p. 331, fig. 6216. [3] Fabbri sold thirteen of his Cézanne paintings to the dealers Georges Wildenstein and Paul Rosenberg of Paris. A document of November 15, 1928, confirms their receipt by intermediary Tammaro De Marinis, who oversaw their transport out of Italy. See Francesca Bardazzi, Cézanne in Florence: Two collectors and the 1910 exhibition of Impressionism (exh. cat. Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, March 2 - July 29, 2007), 25-26, 278, doc. 11. [4] Mr. Paine first lent this painting to the MFA in 1930.

Credit Line

Bequest of Robert Treat Paine, 2nd