French painter Paul Cézanne was born January 19, 1839. He was the artistic bridge between the Impressionists of the late 19th century and the Cubists of the early 20th century. When he moved to Paris from Aix-en-Provence, he attended law and art school simultaneously. While he father wasn’t impressed with his son’s artistic interests, he did support Cézanne financially, including with a large bequest after his death so that he could live comfortably. He did participate in the Salon des Refusés of 1874 where the term Impressionism was born, but the starving artists never fully accepted one they considered to be a dilettante. His paintings now sell for about 30 million dollars apiece. He died on October 22, 1906.
Today’s expression, faire le pont (fair luh pohn) means “to make the bridge.” It’s used in a situation when a legal holiday is extended into a long weekend by tacking on a day off. For instance, if a holiday falls on Thursday, smart folks will take a vacation day on Friday to create a bridge to a four day weekend. If you’ve got a long weekend coming up, check out the Cézanne exhibit at the Met in New York or the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris. Or both!