PRINT May 1977




I should like to protest the new kind of “head-hunting” which some art historians have undertaken to detect so-called secondary images in Cézanne’s paintings. Of course, everybody is entitled to his own “discoveries.” While trying to see the self-portrait “discovered ” by Diane Lesko (“Cézanne’s ‘Bather’ and a Found Self-Portrait,” Artforum, Dec. 1976), I chanced upon a few discoveries of my own, among them a three-legged hangnail, a fur-collared flatiron, and a smiling pressure cooker. But I am withholding publication until I have more thoroughly investigated the new insights to be gained from these revelations.

What troubles me is that the various psychological conclusions drawn from such pictorial interpretations play havoc with documents and established facts. Ms. Lesko quotes Zola as saying of Cézanne in an early letter: “Paul may have the genius of a great painter: he will never

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