R690 – Maison de Bellevue et pigeonnier, 1890-1892 (FWN268)
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The second oil painting of this site, Maisons de Bellevue et Pigeonnier, was done later in the afternoon than R377, and it is above all a study of the building’s profile (somewhat like that of the Chaîne de l’Etoile, R605); it is incisive in defining its outlines but only sketchy in describing the woody hillside on top of which it sits. Its point of view is essentially the same as that of the watercolor (RW255), in which the turn in the road at the bottom creates a space that leads into the picture. Although in both pictures the trees are modeled only by touches that indicate the shady sides, the watercolor is more conservatively three-dimensional (the trees billow out and push the house back), while in the oil the trees become a uniform band of foliage and the profile of the house almost pushes forward of them. The turn in the road, more angular from Cézanne’s standpoint while painting the oil, comes to reflect the inverted profile of the house and gives the canvas a rhythm that is absent in the watercolor. Admittedly, in the oil the hillside was sketched only briefly, and further elaboration might have divided the colors and given the foliage more substance, but Cézanne’s later, more abstract and rhythmical conception, would have remained. It seems evident that the watercolor was not intended as preparation for the oil; the oil painting is clear in its distinct emphasis on pattern and composition.
Source: Pavel Machotka: Cézanne: Landscape into Art
Pour mémoire : RW255 La Maison de Bellevue sur la colline, 1885-1890