R391 Montagnes en Provence (près de l’Estaque ?) c79 (FWN124)
(Cliquer sur l’image pour l’agrandir)
A landscape from the South is painted in touches which are parallel in small clusters (in each tree, for example), but not integrated into a single form (as they are in the roughly contemporary Sous-bois (R376 FWN132) and Le Pont de Maincy R436 FWN143). In Montagnes en Provence (près de l’Estaque?) the touch is horizontal for the water, vertical for the trees, and diagonal in the background; it appears to have a harder time settling down. But the problem is actually in the motif: although it has a clear focus (with the gently sloping red roof echoing the various hillsides) it changes character between the right and left sides, becoming complicated on the left and scattered around the curved path at the bottom. The artist copes with the confusion with various touches, some of which follow the shapes of the objects, others which are vertical, parallel, and stabilizing. Cézanne’s happiest response to the site is in his colors; they reflect, without any reticence, the southern equilibrium between greens, blues, and Naples yellows, and glory in its sunlit intensity.
Adapted from Pavel Machotka, Cézanne: The Eye and the Mind.
NB. Ce tableau a fait l’admiration de Gauguin qui l’a recopié comme motif d’éventail :