Who Is the Artist?
"It is a commonplace to refer to the young artist's apprenticeship to his art as involving the process of finding himself. The nature of the self which he may be said to be trying to find is not too frequently clarified. Much confusion concerning this process is frequently characteristic of young artists themselves. Cézanne … is perhaps a significant case in point: the instance of Cézanne as a young artist signing very indifferent self-portraits with enormous slashing characters in vermilion - symptomatic of the sort of social élan with which he invested himself as the enfant terrible of contemporary Paris - suggests perhaps more than anything else, the sort of irrelevant, symptomatic self-assertiveness which everybody could, quite happily, do without. But after his discouragingly anti-climatic return to Aix, and his emergence from artistic adolescence, such irrelevant emotional gestures tend to disappear in Cézanne's deeper and deeper identification with the real, expressive potentialities of paint." - David G. Taylor, Aesthetic Personality.