R839 – La Carrière de Bibémus, 1898-1900 (FWN318)
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A solitary rock occupies the center of La Carrière de Bibémus and a tall pine grows in its center. Rather than being tightly enclosed among other rocks, it stands apart, having been sculpted into its unnatural, mechanical shape by quarrying. The painting, too, stands apart — from other Bibémus paintings, which are generally based on more intricate and unbalanced subjects and show Cézanne’s acumen and judgment in coping with them. Here, a natural three-color harmony offered by the site certainly makes the picture forthright and unambiguous, and the congenial relationship between the landscape and the patches by which it is represented makes it fully resolved. There is perhaps a sense of insufficient challenge present in the site; it is as if the color patches had less to do – perhaps no more than to suggest the texture of the pine branches and to balance the accumulation of sandstone gravel by their inclination. With that done, they nevertheless produced a deeply rhythmical painting.
Source: Pavel Machotka: Cézanne: Landscape into Art