One of the most significant Provençal sites for Cézanne from the earliest days of his career was the Jas de Bouffan, the family estate located on the outskirts of Aix. Cézanne covered the high walls of the house’s grand salon with murals and used the space as an occasional studio. He frequently painted on the grounds of the estate, which featured a small artificial pond with fountains of lions and a dolphin; a garden, conservatory, and farm with vineyards and orchards; and a chestnut-tree—lined avenue that led to the eighteenth-century manor house. The manor itself was the subject of numerous paintings, including The House of the Jas de Bouffan, c. 1874 where the ocher-colored, three-storied structure is seen behind a lush framework of trees. By this date the artist had moved away from his early technique toward more modulated brushwork that examined the relationship between color and light. The sunlit scene of The House of the Jas de Bouffan reveals the extent to which he had absorbed the lessons of impressionism, especially those of Camille Pissarro, who had introduced him to the importance of painting en plein air (out-of-doors) to capture the visual sensations of nature.
Cézanne painted there intermittently over the course of four decades, moving beyond the manor and its garden to find views at the outer edges of the estate. Even after he abandoned the Jas de Bouffan as a motif in the late 1880s, he continued to work at the house, painting still lifes such as The Peppermint Bottle, 1893–1895, and a renowned series of cardplayers, including Cardplayers, 1890–1899, that took as its models laborers at the estate. Cézanne was deeply upset when the family sold the property in 1899.