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Among the tree trunks, a village can be made out that was probably Marines, northwest of Pontoise, near Paris, a place where Cézanne had worked in 1898, and which was destroyed in World War II. Cézanne’s technique of covering the picture surface with a grid of trees came from an East-Asian principle of composition, its attraction being that it layers the space with parallel picture elements, defining and blurring it at the same time. It afforded Cézanne the possibility of balancing out the surface and the space. The perspective is only revealed in the cubes of the houses and the fields behind them. Nature is lent plasticity purely by means of the modeled color. Cézanne captured the glimmering play of sunlight and shade in a strong harmony of colors consisting of ocher and green, with closed, parallel brushstrokes that at the same time shift things to an aesthetic distance. In his painting, Cézanne fundamentally adhered to the reproduction of what was visible, though he sought to “represent” nature instead of “reproduce” it, and to create a “harmony parallel to nature.”

Details

  • Title: Village through the Trees (Marines)
  • Creator: Paul Cézanne
  • Date Created: c. 1898
  • Physical Dimensions: 66.0 x 82.0 cm
  • Type: painting
  • Rights: Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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