Henri Rousseau said that Cézanne couldn’t draw, which seems a bit unfair when, by the standards of the academy, he couldn’t draw either. But there is certainly a sense in which Rousseau’s inability to draw is different from Cézanne’s. In the first place, it became clear that the wonky faces and rag-doll nudes that critics found inept in Cézanne’s work didn’t constitute the sort of wrong drawing that cut him off from the central tradition of French painting. His radicalism could, itself, be construed as part of that tradition. He even taught people to look afresh at pictures within the tradition. He was in effect an insider.

more at the London Review of Books here.