image: Cezanne in Provence image: National Gallery of Art image: Cezanne in Provence

A ProvenÇal Chronology of CÉzanne: 1870–1879

1870
July 19
Franco-Prussian War begins.
 
September
Cézanne sojourns at L’Estaque in the company of Hortense Fiquet. Zola, his wife, and his mother join them at the beginning of the month before settling in Marseille. Cézanne: "During the war, I worked a great deal from the motif at L’Estaque....I divided my time between the landscape and the studio."
 
November 18
Cézanne, still in L’Estaque, is elected to head the commission of the drawing school in Aix. He does not attend its meetings, and the body is dissolved on April 19, 1871.
 
December
Madame Zola thinks that Cézanne and Hortense Fiquet are "hidden away" in Marseille. In fact, they are still in L’Estaque, and Cézanne visits his family in Aix from time to time.
1871
January
Cézanne is declared a draft dodger.
 
February 26
The Treaty of Versailles brings the Franco-Prussian War to an end.
 
May
The owner of the house rented by Cézanne in L'Estaque, M. Giraud, claims that the couple has left L'Estaque for Lyon. Zola fears that his last letter, containing "certain compromising details," has been forwarded to the Jas de Bouffan. Cézanne's father does not know of his son's liaison with Hortense Fiquet, but his mother is aware of it.
 
July
Cézanne is at the Jas de Bouffan.
 
summer/fall
Cézanne settles for a few months in Paris.
1872
January 4
Birth of Paul, the son of Cézanne and Hortense Fiquet, in Paris. Cézanne asks a friend to deliver a letter to his mother that probably conveyed this news.
 
August–entire year of 1873
Cézanne paints alongside Camille Pissarro in Pontoise (a village northwest of Paris) and also in nearby Auvers, where he has settled with his wife and infant son.
1874
early in the year
Cézanne leaves Auvers for Paris. He asks his father to increase his allowance to 200 francs per month. Should the request be granted, he will consider returning to Aix, where he would derive "much pleasure from working in the Midi, which offers so many views suitable for my painting."
 
late May
Cézanne returns to Aix, where he remains through the summer.
 
September
Cézanne returns to Paris.
1876
April
Cézanne is in Aix.
 
June–late July
Cézanne is in L'Estaque, where he works on marines for Victor Chocquet. He would like to remain there long enough to complete some large canvases. He plans to return to Paris toward the end of July.
1877
Cézanne is in Paris since at least September of the previous year.
 
1878
March 23
Cézanne is in the Midi: Aix, L'Estaque, and Marseille, where Hortense is living with their son. Intercepting a letter from Chocquet, Cézanne's father learns of the existence of Hortense and young Paul. He threatens to cut off Cézanne's allowance.
 
April 4
He asks Zola to send 60 francs to Hortense Fiquet, Marseille, as the 100-franc allowance paid by his father is insufficient to support both his own and his son's needs. He continues to lead a double life divided between Aix and Marseille.
 
around July 8
Cézanne settles in L'Estaque.
 
August 27
He looks for inexpensive lodgings in Marseille so that he can spend the winter there.
 
September 14
Cézanne's father, still opening his son's mail, reads a letter from Hortense Fiquet's father addressed to "Madame Cézanne" at his son's address in Paris and forwarded by the concierge there to the Jas de Bouffan. Contrary to expectation, he does not discontinue the allowance and even gives Cézanne an extra 300 francs. Cézanne and his mother sojourn in L'Estaque.
 
around September 16
Cézanne's mother leaves L'Estaque for Aix, where the artist's parents rent an apartment. Cézanne works in L'Estaque, returning each night to Marseille.
 
early November
Hortense Fiquet goes to Paris. Cézanne, still in L'Estaque, asks Zola to send her 100 francs.
 
December 15
Hortense Fiquet, who "had a little adventure in Paris," returns to Marseille. Cézanne, weary of conflict with his father, envisions leaving the Midi to find some tranquility.
1879
second half of February
He leaves L'Estaque for Paris by way of Aix.
 
February–December
Cézanne settles and works alternately in Paris and the nearby village, Melun.

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