If you missed the Cezanne exhibit in Philadelphia this summer, then Paul Cezanne (E.M.M.E) is your chance to get an in-depth look at his masterworks in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris (n.b., Paul Cezanne is not a CD-ROM version of the Philadelphia exhibit). From the main menu, select Works to access the collection, then select a specific painting from the array of canvases artfully suspended above an artist’s palette. Click to zoom in on the painting and listen to a succinct commentary, which also appears in text form. The Biography section is attractively presented as a sweeping arc of years balanced in an angel’s arms. Click on any year from 1839 to 1906 to read about important events in Cezanne’s life, or choose Key Dates to get a resume. That section also shows four short (under two minutes) documentary-style films that provide insights into the major themes of Cezanne’s work. Watch a reenactment of Cezanne hiking on Mont Ste.-Victoire, the beloved mountain outside his native Aix-en-Provence which he painted over 60 times. The Guided Tour section is basically a narrated slide show of his masterworks, without text to mar the elegant images. However, since there isn’t any order to the tour, you might get more out of the Works section. The Amusements section is actually a very genteel game where you have to guess the title of his paintings; no explosions, blood or guts. Finally, there are two reference sections. The Index maps out the collections of Cezanne all over the world and lists the titles of the works in the Musee d’Orsay. Bibliography provides suggested reading for the inspired. This CD-ROM, one of the better-produced titles from E.M.M.E., is a successful introduction to this master of Impressionism. Combine it with the superb Paul Cezanne: Portrait of My World (Corbis), for a thorough exploration of the man and his work.
– November 1996, Art