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The point of Cézanne

For the first time since the war London is about to host a comprehensive exhibition of Cézanne's work. Norbert Lynton assesses the painter's place in the pantheon and asks whether he is the grandfather of Damien Hirst

By Norbert Lynton   January 1996

It was Cézanne who occasioned Lynton’s Second Law. To be more exact, it was the way a student of mine, aspiring art historian and show-off, explained him away in a tutorial. Cézanne was this, did that and his role in art was such and such. The slides he had brought reinforced what he said, but they also contradicted it. Later that day I came up with my law. It has its uses, not only for Cézanne. It states that when you are discussing a work of art with all seriousness and find that whatever you say is no truer than…

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