Books About Paul Cézanne

Pick up a few of these books about Paul Cézanne and find out more about the artist Picasso called “the father of us all.” Cézanne endured the harsh criticism of many art experts before he found success with his own expressive style. The books on this list do a wonderful job of highlighting Cézanne’s determination and perseverance. They also show how his friendships with other artists propelled his style forward. We’ve also included a few recommendations for activity books so that kids can try their own hand at painting like Cézanne!

Cézanne: Masters of Art Roberta Bernabei

This beautiful book features 150+ pages of full-color reproductions and biographical information on Cézanne. It’s arranged chronologically, hitting all the important points of the artist’s life and art. There’s also a one-page discussion of each painting, which is helpful for kids or adults who are new to Cézanne’s work. Art lovers of any age will appreciate the reproductions in this book, and teens and adults will enjoy the analysis of each piece.

Cézanne's Parrot Amy Guglielmo

Here’s a fun storybook that tells the story of Cézanne’s life with the help of a stubborn parrot. Bisou, Cézanne’s pet parrot, refuses to say the one thing the artist wants him to repeat: “Cézanne is a great painter.” Throughout the book, kids hear the real story of Cézanne’s failure to impress the leaders of the  Salon, the official art show in Paris. They’ll see his frustrations and moments of self-doubt, but they’ll also see how Cézanne perseveres through all of the criticisms. He was determined to follow his own path, to do something new! And that’s exactly how he finds success. After seeing Cézanne paint a still-life of apples, Bisou finally proclaims: “Cézanne is a great painter!” Read this one with elementary kids.

Paul Cézanne: What the Artist Saw Amy Guglielmo

Part of the “What the Artist Saw” series from The Met, this book offers a very detailed description of Cézanne’s life and his expressive painting style. Every page gives kids a glimpse at why Cézanne’s work was considered so revolutionary at the time. The book describes how other Impressionist artists, like Monet and Pissarro, inspired Cézanne, and it tells the story of how Cézanne was determined to create his own kind of art. The back pages provide an illustrated timeline featuring several of Cézanne’s pieces that The Met in New York City currently holds.

Meeting Cézanne Michael Morpurgo

Follow the story of a young boy named Yannick who leaves Paris to stay with his aunt in the South of France. He’s seen pictures of Cézanne’s work in books, but it’s nothing compared to roaming the countryside of Provence himself! One day, an artist sits down to eat as Yannick is working in his aunt’s restaurant. The artist draws a sketch on the paper tablecloth, but Yannick accidentally throws it away.  He follows the artist to ask for another drawing and thinks the man might be Cézanne! This is a great book for confident readers (ages 8+) who enjoy imaginative stories.

Cézanne: Drawing Jodi Hauptman and Samantha Friedman

Take a closer look at Cézanne’s drawings and watercolor paintings with this book from the Museum of Modern Art. It features more than 250 reproductions from the artist. Plus, there are dozens of pages of discussion regarding the sketches and how they played into his overall style and methods. Kids will see several sketches of Cézanne’s wife, his son, pitchers, bottles, fruit, and more. Page through this one with kids ages 10+.

Paul Cézanne: Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists Mike Venezia

In this light-hearted book, jokes, comics, and simple text are used to tell the story of Cézanne and his art. Kids are introduced to Cézanne as he grows up in France. They’ll follow along as he struggles in his early career and faces harsh criticism from art experts. As the book goes on, they’ll see how Cézanne develops a unique approach to color, form, and composition in his paintings. The comical background of the book will keep kids engaged as they learn about the artist’s life and legacy. Full-color reproductions are included on nearly every page. Read this one with early elementary kids.

LEGO Still Life with Bricks: The Art of Everyday Play Lydia Ortiz and Michelle Clair

Take a break from Cézanne to see this new type of still-life art: LEGO still-lifes! This creative book is sure to intrigue kids of all ages. It features nearly 150 pages filled with colorful photographs of LEGO creations in the style of artists like Cézanne. You’ll see everyday objects like an egg carton, a butter dish, and potted plants. Use the book as a way to inspire your family to create a few LEGO still-lifes of your own!

This Is Cézanne Jorella Andrews

This biography provides just the right amount of information and detail about Cézanne for middle-grade students. They’ll especially enjoy the way the book is laid out with colorful illustrations, captions, and reproductions breaking up the text. Kids will learn about Cézanne’s many failures and successes, as well as his life in rural France. When they’re finished, kids will have a deeper understanding of Cézanne's contributions to the art world and the legacy he left behind.

Monet and the Impressionists for Kids Carol Sabbeth

Explore Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Cassatt, and other Impressionism masters in this book. Kids can learn about the history of Impressionism and the lives of the artists who led the movement. There are full-color reproductions of paintings, a detailed timeline, and a wealth of information. You will also find 21 kid-friendly activities—recipes, crafts, games, journaling prompts, and more—that expound upon the art topics. Because there’s so much information in this book, it’s best for kids 10 years old and up.

Discovering Great Artists MaryAnn F. Kohl

This book presents a hands-on way to learn about 60 famous artists. Each spread includes a brief biography of an artist and an art project for kids to try. The book begins with the Renaissance period and works its way through history up to today’s pop art. The activities cover a wide range of artistic abilities and icons help you choose which ones are right for your child. Here’s what we recommend: get this book home and study one artist per week with your elementary children!

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