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

A ProvenÇal Chronology of CÉzanne: 1890-1899

The painter stays with Hortense and their son. In early August he goes to Switzerland, where Hortense and young Paul have already spent ten days near the Swiss border. The family sojourn there lasts five months. They go successively to Neuchâtel, Bern, Fribourg, Vevey, Lau­sanne, and Geneva. According to Paul Alexis, Cézanne is very unhappy about the trip.
Back in France, Hortense returns to Paris, while Cézanne settles in Aix. The artist has begun to suffer from diabetes, which makes him extremely irritable.
February 12
Cézanne reduces the allowance to his wife and son so they will return to Aix. He sets them up in an apartment, while he resides with his mother and sister Marie at the Jas de Bouffan. Hortense is on bad terms with her in-laws. Cézanne becomes a devout Catholic.
late summer?
Cézanne moves to a Paris apartment. During the month of September he works in outside of Paris in the town of Melun and also stays in Giverny.
April 4–June
Cézanne is back in Paris.
late June
Cézanne departs for Aix, where he visits his mother, now old and infirm and living alone.
November 8
Cézanne and several friends make an excursion to Bibémus. They have lunch in Saint-Marc and dine in Le Tholonet in the evening. That same autumn Cézanne climbs Montagne Sainte-Victoire.
Cézanne takes part in the first exhibition organized by an arts society in Aix, the Société des Amis des Arts d’Aix, showing two landscapes: The Arc Valley (landscape) (now known as Montagne Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine) and Landscape (study). Louis Gautier’s quatrain accompanies an illustration of The Arc Valley:
"Through the branches of giant pines one sees
The blue profile of Mont Sainte-Victoire;
If nature were as the painter thinks
This summary painting would secure his glory"
(A travers les rameaux des pins géants on voit
Se profiler en bleu le Mont Ste-Victoire;
Si la nature était ce que la peintre croit
Ce sommaire tableau suffirait pour sa gloire).
According to Pissarro, Doctor Aguiar—one of his friends who also knows Cézanne—thinks Cézanne is ill.
March or April
Beginning of Cézanne’s relations with Joachim Gasquet, the son of his childhood friend Henri Gasquet. The painter, who cherishes peace and quiet, tries to minimize human contact.
Ambroise Vollard visits Cézanne in Aix. This is the first meeting between the painter and the dealer, who previously had worked through the artist’s son. Vollard lists the prints and photographs he saw on the walls of Cézanne’s studio, including The Arcadian Shepherds by Poussin, some by Delacroix, A Burial at Ornans by Courbet, and The Assumption by Rubens. During his stay Vollard buys paintings the painter had given to residents of Aix.
early June
Cézanne takes a room in Vichy (in southeast France), where he remains for a month.
He rents a cottage in Le Tholonet, which he retains until the fall, working on landscapes and depictions of the Bibémus quarry. A friend who sees Cézanne rather frequently conveys news about him to Zola: "He rented a cabin at the quarry near the dam and he spends the bulk of his time there."
October 25
Death of the painter’s mother at age eighty-three.
January 13
Back in Paris, Cézanne rents a studio, which he retains until 1899.
September 18
The Jas de Bouffan is sold by Maître Mouravit, the Cézanne family notary. In the fall Cézanne returns to Aix to remove his personal effects and painting materials from the Jas de Bouffan. He moves to the second floor of a house on the rue Boulegon in Aix, where he has a studio built under the eaves. Cézanne lives alone on the rue Boulegon with his housekeeper, but Hortense and young Paul also give this venue as their address in the 1906 census. His offer to purchase the Château Noir, where he rents a room, is rejected.

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