R506 – Le Verger (Hattenville) 1882 (FWN180)
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Even more than Cézanne’s painting of the ravine (Au fond du ravin, l’Estaque R393 FWN123), his Le Verger (Hattenville) accepts the natural oscillations of its site and weaves the touches into the irregular branches in a particulalry seamless manner. The contours of the branches are prominent and the touches in turn short and muted; we may presume that the touches were not to compete with the broad movements. On the contrary, by their quiet presence the touches reinforce the movements imperceptibly. The painting becomes a series of arabesques of the orchard’s trees, each painted with a firm outline, which draw into their rhythm even the undulations of the thatched roof in the background; and all this takes place against the stabilizing vertical stakes and trees. The movements play out as if on a flat stage, so deeply filtered is the light, so narrow the differences in the brushstrokes’ hues and values, and so stuffy the red-brown and dull green colors.
Adapted from Pavel Machotka, Cézanne: The Eye and the Mind.