Cézanne was initially influenced by impressionism, but ultimately found it too vague and superficial. He sought a sturdier basis and found it in nature. According to him, all the forms in nature are made up of three archetypes: the sphere, the cylinder and the cone. In his work, however, his starting point was not the form, but the colour. The artist had to evoke the forms through the harmony of the colours. In this landscape, Cézanne uses short, dynamic parallel brushstrokes of yellows, orange and ochre to depict a sandy road, which leads through the tall trees, past a field with corn sheaths to a lake. A few houses and a factory chimney are visible behind the short bushes. A green hill and a blue mountainside in the distance dissect the composition. Due to the factory chimney, it is thought that in reality the road lead not to a lake, but to a river, the Oise. In that case Cézanne may have painted this landscape in the summer of 1881, while visiting Camille Pissarro in Pointoise. Cezanne’s ‘constructive brushstroke’ and use of colour made a deep impression on younger painters, such as Gauguin, Denis and Signac and they followed his example.


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