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Environs de Gardanne
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Environs de Gardanne
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About the item

Paul Cézanne, Environs de Gardanne\nOil on canvas\n23 by 28 ¼ in.\n58.5 by 71.8 cm\nPainted in 1886-1890.
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NY, US
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notes

The landscapes of Cézanne's mature period (1885-1894) are among the most celebrated of his production.  Environs de Gardanne, which the artist began in 1885 and probably finished in 1892, dates from the height of this important era and is an example of the stylistic traits that have come to define the artist's best work.  In these pictures, Cézanne focuses on the geometric schema of the landscape rather than on the individual details of nature or the architecture.   He applies his paint to the canvas in thin washes of color, which is a stark contrast to the thickly painted canvases from the prior decade.  Cézanne's concern by 1885 and onward rests mainly with the representation of form; extraneous details of composition are eliminated from these canvases.  The resulting landscapes are geometric assemblages of architecture and fieldscapes, rendered with a limited range of color.  It is important to keep in mind that when Cézanne began working on these paintings in 1885, the Impressionist movement was at its height.  We see none of the "Impressionist" concerns with light or shadow in this picture, since Cézanne has moved on to concern himself with the beautiful complexity of form itself.  This picture, one of the first to address this stylistic priority, introduces the radical shift in aesthetic priorities that initiated the Post-Impressionist movement and ultimately influenced the Cubists in the 20th century.

This charming landscape depicts the farmlands of Gardanne, a small village about eight miles outside of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.  Cézanne rented an apartment in the town with his companion Hortense and their son Paul in the fall of 1885, and remained their until the summer of the following year.  During his residence he painted three oils and made a drawing of the village (Rewald no. 569-571; Chappuis no. 902) and four oils of the surrounding landscape (Rewald 572-575), including the present work.  John Rewald believes that although Cézanne probably began these latter four paintings in 1885, the artist most likely completed them as late as 1890, given their clarity of form and emphasis on the geometric schema of the landscape.   Cézanne remained in the region for the rest of his life, and it would not have been unusual for him to return to Gardanne in search of other subjects.  Rewald has proposed that Cézanne painted a fifth Gardanne landscape in 1892-95 (Rewald no. 768; previously dated by Venturi as 1885) based on this same hypothesis.  Of the eight Cézanne's eight Gardanne landscapes, seven are in the collections of major museums and the present work is the only one remaining in private hands.

In his monograph on Cézanne's landscapes, Pavel Machotka has made the following observations about this picture: "Environs de Gardanne, though containing only two buildings, seems part of that mode of viewing things:  it poses layers of fields one on top of another.  It 'commits' perhaps more automatically than by calculation, the perceptual error of stretching the field of vision vertically.  The expansion may be seen as an instance of perceptual constancy, by which the receding field of vision is restored to a more vertical orientation or it may represent a decision to bring the fields closer to the plane of the canvas; most probably the explanations complement each other.  The effect is, nevertheless, to produce a canvas that works better than the photograph (see fig. 3)" (Pavel Matchotka, op. cit., p. 66).

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Paul Cézanne

exhibited

Berlin, Kunstsalon Paul Cassirer, Degas-Cézanne, 1913, no. 34, illustrated in the catalogue

dimensions

23 by 28 ¼ in. 58.5 by 71.8 cm

literature

Julius Meier-Graefe, Cézanne und sein Kreis, Munich, 1918, p. 140, illustrated

Julius Meier-Graefe, Cézanne, London, 1927, illustrated pl. XLV

Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, son art-son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1936, no. 436, catalogued p. 159; vol. II, fig. 436, illustrated pl. 127

Fritz Novotny, Cézanne und das Ende der wissenschaftlichen Perspektive, Vienna, 1938, fig. 13

Adrien Bagarry, "Le Centenaire de Cézanne," La Renaissance, March, 1939, illustrated p. 6

Erle Loran, Cézanne's Composition, Berkeley, 1943, pp. 108-109, illustrated pl. XXIX

Bernard Dorival, Cézanne, Paris, 1948, illustrated pl. 86

Douglas Gordon, Modern Art Exhibitions, 1900-1916, vol. I, Munich, 1974, fig. 1400, illustrated p. 277

Gaëtan Picon & Sandra Orienti, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Cézanne, Paris, 1975, no. 435, illustrated p. 106

Cézanne, ou la peinture en jeu, Acts of the Cézanne colloquium held at Aix-en-Provence (exhibition catalogue), Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, 1982, illustrated p. 271

John Rewald, Cézanne: A Biography, New York, 1986, illustrated p. 152

John Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, New York, 1996, no. 575, catalogued p. 388; vol. II, illustrated p. 191

Denis Coutagne, et al., Les sites Cézanniens du Pays d'Aix, Paris, 1996, illustrated p. 124

Pavel Machotka, Cézanne: Landscape into Art, New Haven and London, 1996,  illustrated p. 66

provenance

Ambroise Vollard, Paris

Paul Cassirer, Berlin

Madame Oppenheim, Berlin

Dr. Walter Feilchenfeldt, Berlin

Paul Rosenberg & Co., London and Paris

Mrs. John Wintersteen, Philadelphia

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shipman Payson, New York

Private Collection, New York

Sale: Phillips, New York, May 11, 2000, lot 14

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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