Cezanne was most definitely a leader in his art. He is often called the "father of modern art." His use of color, media, shape, and style is like no other painter. He studied under several but not one of them achieved his greatness. Cezanne was often criticized by the art critic of his time, but that was because he was ahead of his time.
"No one before him ever demonstrated so clearly the extent to which painting is something that takes place among the colors," wrote poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Cézanne modulated warm and cool hues to depict depth and surface and used his "constructive brushstroke," rather than perspective or foreshortening, to build up form and structure. Since 1890, his complex painting has influenced nearly every avant-garde movement in painting, including Cubism and abstract art.