Cézanne was born in Cesana Forinese (Italy) in 1839. At the age of 13 Paul Cézanne started studying at the Collège Bourbon. Here he met his life-time friend Emile Zola. In 1856 Cézanne decided to join an afterschool lesson in drawing. From. Eventually he studied law at Aix and entered in his father's footsteps working in the bank.
By 1861 Paul Cézanne's father had to acknowledge the desire of his son to become an artist and therefore gave Paul the permission to study at the Académie Suisse in Paris. Once located in Paris, Cézanne became a frequent visitor of The Louvre where he met up with other artists. Paul however was refused admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, so he returned to Aix to his fathers bank. In November 1862 Cézanne returned to Paris again to make his painting ambitions come true.
Cezanne first went through an Impressionistic Period. He met Edouard Manet in Paris and wanted to be accepted at the Salon des Refugées which would later be called the beginning of Impressionism.
After almost seven years of inactivity, Cézanne started again in 1887 at the exhibition of Les XX in Brussels. This period, his 'Synthetic Period', perhaps made him the most famous. To modernists, Cézanne was the founder of modern painting; Henri Matisse called him "the father of us all". His geometric essentialisation of forms influenced cubism in particular.
In 1906 Paul Cézanne collapsed while painting in the open during a thunderstorm. One week later, on October 15, he died from pneumonia.