LETTER : Cezanne's apples

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From Mr Benjamin Harvey

Sir: Iain Gale's review of the Cezanne exhibition ("Passion, sex and death", 9 February) suggests that he has more in common with Roger Fry than he apparently realises. Gale informs us that Fry "missed the point" because

Cezanne's apples are charged with sexual meaning, and their potential decay resonates with echoes of mortality.

Opening Fry's book, one discovers that

If the words tragic, menacing, noble or lyrical seem out of place before Cezanne's still-lifes, one feels none the less that the emotions they arouse are curiously analagous to these states of mind.... They are, so to speak, dramas deprived of all dramatic incident.

Not, perhaps, the "passion, sex and death" Gale hankers after, but then Fry was writing in 1927.


Benjamin Harvey

Barber Institute of Fine Arts


9 February