Paul Cézanne challenged convention, and proposed new possibilities for modern art. He was remarkable for his ability to perceive and paint everyday places, people and things in ways that revealed the multiplicity and beauty of vision, while also unveiling the deep, cohesive structures of the visible world. But the intellectual and emotional difficulties of his achievements were considerable. Mainly self-taught, most of his career was plagued by rejection. The critics, and the public, disliked his paintings and, in 1884, Cézanne declared that Paris, the centre of the nineteenth-century art world, had defeated him. Repeatedly, he retreated into self-doubt and bad temper. This book follows Cézanne on his extraordinary artistic journey, focusing on his formative discoveries, made not in the flashy, fashionable metropolis but in provincial and rural France and often in isolation.