Overview

When Cézanne started painting in the 1860s, he worked primarily in the studio on figural compositions and still lifes. But the allure of the countryside soon drew his attention, and under the guidance of Camille Pissarro, with whom he painted in Pontoise and Auvers between 1872 and 1873, Cézanne fully embraced working regularly en plein air (in the open air).

This sunlit scene shows the extent to which the artist absorbed the lessons of impressionism, of capturing the visual sensations of nature with modulated brushwork that examines the relationship between color and light. The thin application of paint, with spots of canvas showing through, contributes to the light-soaked appearance of the scene. A bright palette of predominantly yellows and greens unifies the composition, while Cézanne’s distinct brushwork—with horizontal strokes creating the mirrored surface of the river and short parallel strokes forming much of the foliage—results in a cohesive, rhythmic surface.

The exact location of the setting has not been identified, but the theme of buildings nestled along a river landscape was one Cézanne returned to frequently.

Inscription

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

(Ambroise Vollard [1867-1939], Paris); sold 31 July 1926 to Dr. Gottlieb Friedrich Reber [1880-1959], Lausanne, and (Galerie Thannhauser, Lucerne); on consignment from 4 August 1927 to D. Pagenstecher, Wiesbaden; sold 1951 to (Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zürich); sold 1955 to a private collection, from which it was returned 1964 to (Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zürich); sold 15 January 1964 to (M. Knoedler & Co., London, New York and Paris);[1] sold 13 June 1964 to Ailsa Mellon Bruce [1901-1969], New York; bequest 1970 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1927
Erste Sonderaustellung in Berlin, Galerien Thannhauser at Berliner Künsterlhaus, 1927, unnumbered catalogue, repro. p. 25
1956
Paul Cézanne, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 1956, no. 36, repro.
1956
Paul Cézanne, Kunsthaus Zurich, 1956, no. 61
1960
Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture Collected by Yale Alumni, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 1960, no. 77, repro.
1966
French Paintings from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and Mrs. Mellon Bruce, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1966, no. 71, repro
1989
Impressionisti della National Gallery of Art di Washington, Ala Napoleonica e Museo Correr, Venice, and Palazzo Reale, Milan, 1989, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
1990
Französische Impressionisten und ihre Wegbereiter aus der National Gallery of Art, Washington und dem Cincinnati Art Museum, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, 1990, no. 62, repro.
1992
From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metroplitan Museum of Art, New York, National Gallery of Greece, Athens, 1992-1993, no. 63, repro.
1999
Around Impressionism: French Paintings from the National Gallery of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1999, no cat.
1999
Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 1999, no. 55, repro.
2011
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The National Art Center, Tokyo; Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, 2011, no. 11, repro.

Bibliography

1936
Venturi, Lionello. Cezanne, son art, son oeuvre. 2 vols. Paris, 1936: no. 634.
1966
Goldwater, Robert. "The Glory that was France." Art News 65 (March 1966): 48, repro.
1970
Orienti 1970, no.738.
1975
_European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 62, repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 507, no. 752, color repro.
1985
_European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 82, repro.
1991
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 263.
1996
Rewald, John. The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: a catalogue raisonné. 2 vols. New York, 1996:no. 722, repro.
2001
Kropmanns, Peter, and Uwe Fleckner. "Von Kontinentaler Bedeutung: Gottlieb Freidrich Reber und seine Sammlungen." In Die Moderne und ihre Sammler. Andrea Pophanken and Felix Billeter, eds. Berlin, 2001: 387.

Technical Summary

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