Cézanne, Paul

Le Mont Sainte-Victoire vu des Lauves

1902-06 (230 Kb); Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves; Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm (25 1/2 X 32 in); Private collection; Venturi 799

Comparing this work with a photograph taken from the spot where it was painted, Erle Loran has observed:

'Here is one of the last paintings Cézanne made of the mountain, and without the accompanying photograph of the motif it might be considered highly abstract. Definite transformations have certainly been made and the arbitrariness of the individual color planes is typical of the series of late paintings done from this location.

'The motif reveals typical aerial perspective or fading away of the mountain, which is seen here from a distance of eleven miles or more; but although Cézanne has eliminated its details he has given the mountain an intensity almost equal to that of the foreground forms and has emphasized its height. The photograph shows a gradual diminishing and fading away from the immediate foreground toward the distant mountain... Cézanne, on the contrary, has kept this vast space comparatively shallow without losing the effect of planes stepping back into the distance. In fact, Cézanne's painting actually involves more distance than the photograph shows. The large area of trees is almost entirely missing in the photograph.

'Three-dimensionality is clearly established; yet in this painting, as in the entire series to which it belongs, the allover patchwork of color planes produces a pronounced two-dimensionality. The individual planes are definitely flat and the line drawing is more segmented and ragged than usual, making the larger divisions less clear in space. Strong construction lines that 'carry through' vertically, diagonally, and horizontally afford still more two-dimensionality.'

© 30 Dec 1995, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info

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