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

A ProvenÇal Chronology of CÉzanne: 1880–1889

1880
April 1
He departs Melun and in Paris. In August he visits Zola in Médan, a village to the west of Paris.
1881
February 26
The painter's sister Rose Cézanne marries a lawyer, Paul-Antoine-Maximin [Maxime] Conil, in Aix-en-Provence. The wedding ceremony takes place in the church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine on 27 February. Cézanne attends and signs the register.
 
May 5
Cézanne settles in Pontoise with Hortense and Paul. He often sees Pissarro and walks from Pontoise to Médan.
 
July
Cézanne goes to Auvers. Visits Paris in late July.
 
October 24 or 25
He spends a week in Médan with Zola before leaving for Aix.
1881–1885
Cézanne's father has a new roof of industrial tiles installed on the manor house at the Jas de Bouffan. He uses the opportunity to have a studio built for his son.
1882
second half of January
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, returning from Italy, disembarks in Marseille. He spends several days in L'Estaque, where he visits Cézanne. The two artists work together.
 
early March
Cézanne returns to Paris.
 
September
He spends several weeks with Zola in Médan before going to Aix in early October.
 
November 14
Cézanne is at the Jas de Bouffan. He sees few people in town but visits his teacher Gibert.
 
late November
He decides to draft a will leaving his annuity income and property to his mother and his son, "for if I were to die in the near future, my sisters would be my heirs, and I think my mother would be cut out, and my little boy (having been acknowledged when I registered him) would, I think, still be entitled to half my estate, but perhaps not without contest." He asks Zola to keep a duplicate of any holographic will he should draft.
 
1883
May
He is in L'Estaque, where he has rented a small house and garden. Cézanne and his mother visit a notary in Marseille, with whom they draft a will naming her his universal heir.
 
November
Cézanne again sojourns in L'Estaque until February 22, 1884.
 
December 17
Monet and Renoir, traveling along the Mediterranean coast from Marseille to Genoa, visit Cézanne at the end of the month.
 
1884
February 23
Cézanne goes to Aix to see Valabrègue.
 
November 27
Cézanne is still in Aix. He thanks Zola for sending two new books.
1885
March
Cézanne is again in L'Estaque. He suffers from severe headaches.
 
June 14
Back from Aix, he spends an evening at Zola's house in Paris, settling the following day in La Roche-Guyon, in Renoir's rooms on the Grande-Rue.
 
August
Cézanne is in Aix. From there he goes each day to Gardanne, a village seven miles away, returning to the Jas de Bouffan each night. He is going through a difficult period: The most complete isolation. The brothel in town, or something like, but nothing more. I pay, the word is ugly, but I need repose, and at that price I ought to get it....If only I had an indifferent family, everything would have been for the best.
1886
In the Gardanne census Cézanne is listed as a person of independent means, along with Hortense and Paul. His son attends the village school.
 
April
Cézanne ends his lifelong friendship with Zola when a character in the latter's novel L'Œuvre, published in March 1886, appears to be based on the painter.
 
April 28
Cézanne, marries Hortense Fiquet at the Hôtel de Ville in Aix-en-Provence. By this act, he recognizes and legitimizes their son. There is no marriage contract. Cézanne's brother-in-law Maxime Conil is one of the witnesses. The artist's parents attend the marriage. A church ceremony takes place the next day in the presence of Maxime Conil and the painter's sister Marie Cézanne, as well as two other witnesses who sign the register.
 
October 23
Death of the artist's father at the Jas de Bouffan. He is buried the next day.
 
December 2
Rose Conil acquires Montbriand, an estate south of the Jas de Bouffan
 
December 17
The will of Louis-Auguste Cézanne is read. His three children are heirs. Paul Cézanne is described as "without profession." The estate consists of furniture valued at 174 francs, 220 shares in the Paris–Lyon–Mediterranean railway line, worth 85,222.50 francs, thirteen bonds from the city of Aix worth 6,630 francs, and the Jas de Bouffan property, valued at 62,500 francs.
 
1888
January
Renoir stays at the Jas de Bouffan but soon leaves "because of the black avarice that reigns in the household."
 
May–June
Van Gogh, living in Arles, in western Provence, mentions having seen some landscapes by Cézanne. They stick in his mind, and some time later he adds: "Involuntarily the Cézannes I saw come back into my memory, because he has so captured—the harsh side of Provence." Van Gogh admires the coloristic precision in Cézanne's canvases, which he thinks the result of Cézanne's intimate familiarity with his native region. He also suggests that, if Cézanne's touch sometimes seems awkward, this is because of the mistral, which makes his canvases shake as he paints on them.
 
1889
June
Cézanne stays in Hattenville (Normandy) with Chocquet. He then returns to Paris.

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