Paul Cézanne painted the mountain, Sainte Victoire, over 60 times during his career. Why was he drawn to this strange, granite protrusion just outside of Aix-en-Provence? Cézanne was conscious of human mortality. And he believed art needed to show a way to hope. And so, he painted this mountain, not the way an impressionist might, but as the new Moses, receiving the “law” requiring that nature’s true spirit be uncovered, and thus projecting hope. Indeed, this mountain was the site in 102 B.C. of the victory of Marius, the Christian, over the pagan Teutonic troupes. Cézanne’s works were constructions of meaning on a canvas, rather than an imitation of scenery. He showed the way for the future.
In June the Huguenot Fellowship sponsored a wonderful trip to Aix, under the sure leadership of the Barackmans. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of Cézanne’s death. We celebrated the artist in a number of ways. We visited the newly renovated museum, which had 117 of the master’s paintings on exhibit: truly a feast. A high point was a concert, at Saint Jean de Malte, the large Gothic church attached to the museum. Entitled, “L’Amérique rend homage à Paul Cézanne,” it was a double-header. The first part was gospel music with Ruth Naomi Floyd accompanied by myself. The second was an organ recital by our friend Vincent Treadway, to dedicate their new Kern organ. Included in the program were two pieces I had written for the occasion. The audience rose to its feet with enthusiasm. Encores were required. What an evening!
The other high point was graduation at the Reformed Seminary. We saw five students proudly receive their diplomas. Some were already in ministry, others about to commence. It was a powerful reminder of why we exist. Our Fellowship’s mission is to provide resources for the Seminary, so that the Kingdom of God may extend in the French-speaking world. Now, there is the true way for the future: preaching Christ’s “holy victory” to the nations.
Very Truly Yours,
William Edgar, President