Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France. He trained initially as a lawyer and took drawing lessons at the local academy. His artistic aspirations were encouraged by his friend Emile Zola and in 1861 he abandoned his law studies and followed Zola to Paris. Discouraged by his first experience of Paris, Cézanne returned to Aix and took a job in his father's bank. In 1862 he returned to Paris and in 1863 exhibited at the Salon des Réfusés. Although Cézanne submitted works to the Salon every year from 1864 to 1869, invariably his paintings were rejected.
In 1869 he met Hortense Fiquet and in 1872 their son, Paul, was born. Shortly afterwards Cézanne moved to Pontoise and worked closely with Camille Pissarro. He exhibited three paintings in the first Impressionist group exhibition of 1874, and contributed sixteen works to the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877. Disheartened by the critical reaction to his work, Cézanne retreated to the south of France. He again submitted works to the Salon but except in 1882, his works were rejected. In 1886 he married Hortense Fiquet and later that year his father died, leaving Cézanne a substantial income. In 1895 Ambroise Vollard organised Cézanne's first solo exhibition, to which the artist sent so many works ─ about 150 ─ that they had to be shown in rotation. Three of his paintings were shown at the Centenary Exhibition of French Art in Paris in 1900. In 1899, 1901 and 1902 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and in 1904, 1905 and 1906 at the Salon d'Automne. The Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, organised his second solo exhibition in 1904. Cézanne died in Aix on 23 October 1906.