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Landscape in Aix. Mont Sainte-Victoire

Painting, 1905, 60×73 cm
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Description of the artwork «Landscape in Aix. Mont Sainte-Victoire»

This painting by Paul Cézanne is one of the rare treasures of the museum. This is the last painting of the Mount Sainte-Victoire, created a year before Paul Cézanne's death. This symbolic twilight landscape is the result of a twenty-year search and study. Since the mid-1880s, Cézanne had painted the Mount Sainte-Victoire more than 80 times.
Gradually releasing the image from unnecessary details, finding the right proportions and dissolving the natural boundaries between trees, houses, mountain and sky, Cézanne found almost abstract, mystical essence.

Painter's biographer Alex Danchev said: "As a pleinairist Cézanne was not so much a topographer as a psycho-geographer, not so much a landscapist as a geologist, or perhaps an archaeologist." It is equally difficult for Cézanne's admirers, artists, critics, and the audience to explain how he achieved this monumental effect. Cézanne was spoken of as a prophet, a man able not to comprehend nature, but to resist it. Victor Chocquet described the apparent imperfections of the artist's works as the ones that "contributed to a sophistication, breadth of knowledge, and perception among American early modernists." The whole generation of modern artists, who grew up and became stronger under the influence of Cézanne, repeated in unison: he painted not the apple itself, but its soul, not the mountain, but its essence.

During his last years, Cézanne worked a lot in watercolor - and after a while, used watercolor effects while working with oil. The paint is applied thinly, transparently onto the canvas which in some places remains unpainted. Separate colour spots don't overlap.
Somewhere here, in mosaic-like heavens and grasses, begins Cubism. This is a world where the artist is omnipresent - he is inside the landscape and able to examine every object of interest from several sides, being discontent with a direct perspective.
Somewhere here, at the junction of multi-directional, dynamic brush strokes, the visible world gives a crack, but does not collapse: it is renewed, foreshadowing Expressionism. And here, in the almost indistinguishable outlines of trees, earth and sky, there already exist all the prerequisites for ideas of abstract art where color itself is a semantic and emotional energy of a picture.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape

Style of art: Post-Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1905

Size: 60×73 cm

Artwork in selections: 16 selections

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