(b Aix-en-Provence, 19 Jan. 1839; d Aix-en-Provence, 23 Oct. 1906). French painter, with Gauguin and van Gogh the greatest of the Post-Impressionists and a key influence on the development of 20th-century art. He was the son of a prosperous hat manufacturer who was also part-owner of a bank in Aix-en-Provence. In 1861 he abandoned the study of law, and his father reluctantly gave him permission (and a modest allowance) to train as an artist in Paris. He studied at the Académie Suisse, where he met Camille Pissarro, but after a few months he went back to Aix discouraged (he was a touchy character who hid his insecurities by posing as a provincial boor, once refusing to shake hands with the elegant Manet because he claimed he had not washed for days and did not wish to dirty the great man). The following year he resumed his studies in Paris and in 1863 he exhibited at the Salon des Refusés (his attempts to get his work accepted for the official Salon regularly ended in failure). At this time Cézanne's work consisted mainly of portraits and imaginative figure subjects, with occasional still lifes. The portraits—mostly of members of his family (including self-portraits)—are sombre, using thick, slab-like paint, often applied with a palette knife. The imaginative subjects are very different, their subjects typically being erotic or violent and the handling of paint impetuous (The Murder, c.1868, Walker AG, Liverpool). They show Cézanne's admiration for Delacroix (of whose pictures he made several copies), but they have none of Delacroix's sophistication. Compared with Delacroix's work, indeed, they look brutally crude, and even with the benefit of hindsight it is hard to see the seeds of Cézanne's future greatness in them.