In couplehood, familiarity may breed contempt, but it also frees one from certain banalities of attention. “Madame Cézanne,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 15, is an exquisite exhibition that brings together 24 of the 29 known portraits Paul Cézanne painted of Marie-Hortense Fiquet, his longtime mistress turned wife and mother of his only son. For over two decades, Fiquet served as subject and surface for the painter whose genius was marrying sight and touch. A quartet of paintings of the madame in a red dress (all circa 1888–90) are displayed together for the first time — an exceptional occasion to see what the master saw.
Jan. 21-March 15, 10 a.m., 2015