Paul Cezanne's crucial lasting friendship was with his boyhood friend Emile Zola; the two were inseparable during their school years. It was Zola who convinced Cezanne to join him in Paris and make a serious attempt at a career in art. Zola supported and encouraged Cezanne during many years of frustration. But in 1886 Zola - one of the most popular and controversial writers in France - wrote the novel "Masterpiece" the main character of which, a failed painter, was obviously modelled on Cezanne. This portrayal ended the friendship.