R828 – La Route tournante à Montgeroult, 1898 (FWN321)

Pavel Machotka

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La Route tournante à Montgeroult
R828, FWN321

Photo John Rewald











Of the two pictures painted in Montgeroult, Route tournante à Montgeroult is the more complex in its space, richer in its colors, more insistent in its movements. It depicts a road which rises sharply as it curves and sweeps other diagonals along with it; yet the rush is checked by the bright yellow wall at the road’s apex which pushes back toward us (and is aided by the wall in the shade, which is chromatically the most arresting: red-brown, pale brown, olive, violet and pale blue). We look sharply uphill, but the houses at the top stabilize the incline and help us read it correctly.

But the painting is hardly best viewed technically. It is joyful, powerful, unhesitating, and finished. The small, central barn tells us that the light of that particular morning is intense. As in the other Montgeroult painting (R833) — but not in the center of the painting, rather in the triangle of vegetation at the base — deep violets are placed next to dark greens. If our gaze naturally seeks out the yellows and reds in the middle, it also seeks out what holds them up, and finds it at the bottom, dark and rich in color, with overlapping patches rushing up toward the bend in the road.

Source: Pavel Machotka: Cézanne: Landscape into Art

Carte postale ancienne (collection Alain Mothe)