Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence)

Oil on canvas
31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (80 x 64.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Franz H. Hirschland, 1957
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    This is one of three views of Gardanne, a hill town near Aix-en-Provence where Cézanne worked from the summer of 1885 through the spring of 1886. The steeple of the local church crowns the cluster of red-roofed buildings which animate the sloping terrain. Faceted and geometric, the structures anticipate early-twentieth-century Cubism.

  • Provenance

    [probably Ambroise Vollard, Paris, by 1895–until 1896; stock book B, no. 3451, as "maisons étagées," sold on February 27, 1896 to Costa]; probably count Enrico Costa (from 1896); [Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1904/6–until 1924; sold on February 12, 1924 to Thannhauser]; [Galerien Thannhauser (Justin K. Thannhauser), Lucerne, 1924; sold on September 5 to Hirschland]; Dr. and Mrs. Franz H. Hirschland, Harrison, NY (1924–57)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Galerie Vollard. "Exposition Paul Cézanne," November–December 1895, no catalogue [see Vollard 1914].

    Berlin. Hugo Perls. "Französische Malerei des XIX. Jahrhunderts," January–February 1927, no. 4 (as "Landschaft," possibly this picture) [see Rewald 1996].

    New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc.. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Paul Cézanne," January 1928, no. 18 (as "Gardanne," lent by Dr. and Mrs. F. H. Hirschland, New York).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "First Loan Exhibition: Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, van Gogh," November 8–December 7, 1929, no. 20 (lent by Dr. F. H. Hirschland, New York).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Cubism and Abstract Art," March 2–April 19, 1936, no. 33 (lent from a private collection, New York).

    New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc.. "Cézanne," March 27–April 26, 1947, no. 32 (lent by Mr. [sic] and Mrs. F. H. Hirschland).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Paintings from Private Collections," May 31–September 5, 1955, no. 14 (lent by Dr. and Mrs. F. H. Hirschland).

    Aix-en-Provence. Pavillon de Vendôme. "Exposition pour commémorer le cinquantenaire de la mort de Cézanne," July 21–August 15, 1956, no. 30 (lent from a private collection, New York).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.

    Fort Lauderdale. Museum of Art. "Corot to Cézanne: 19th Century French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 22, 1992–April 11, 1993, no catalogue.

    Kunstforum Wien. "Cézanne: Finished—Unfinished," January 19–April 25, 2000, no. 89.

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Cézanne: Finished—Unfinished," May 5–August 13, 2000, no. 89.

    Essen. Museum Folkwang. "Cézanne and the Dawn of Modern Art," September 18, 2004–January 16, 2005, unnumbered cat. (p. 155).

    Yokohama Museum of Art. "Homage to Cézanne: His Influence on the Development of Twentieth Century Painting," November 15, 2008–January 25, 2009, no. 77.

    Sapporo. Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art. "Homage to Cézanne: His Influence on the Development of Twentieth Century Painting," February 7–April 12, 2009, no. 77.

    Aix-en-Provence. Musée Granet. "Picasso Cézanne," May 25–September 27, 2009, no. 9.

    The Hague. Gemeentemuseum. "Cézanne—Picasso—Mondriaan. In nieuw perspectief," October 17, 2009–January 24, 2010, no. 69.

  • References

    Albert Dreyfus. "Paul Cézanne." Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst 24 (1913), pp. 202–3, ill., as "Stadtbild".

    Ambroise Vollard. Paul Cézanne. [Eng. ed., 1923]. Paris, 1914, p. 59, pl. 37, calls it "Gardanne" and dates it 1886; lists it among the paintings in the Cézanne exhibition at the Vollard gallery in 1895.

    Fritz Knapp. "Die malerische Problematik der Moderne." Die künstlerische Kultur des Abendlandes. 3, Bonn, 1923, p. 281, fig. 201.

    Georges Rivière. Le Maître Paul Cézanne. Paris, 1923, p. 213, calls it "Gardanne: Les Moulins" and dates it 1886.

    [Amédée] Ozenfant. Art. [English ed., 1931]. Paris, 1928, p. 74, ill. (overall and detail), relates it to Cubism.

    Forbes Watson. "New York Exhibitions." Arts 13 (February 1928), pp. 107–8.

    A[lfred]. H. B[arr]. Jr. First Loan Exhibition: Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, van Gogh. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1929, pp. 22, 36, no. 20, ill., dates it about 1885 and notes that it was painted in Provence.

    Eugenio d'Ors. Paul Cézanne. Paris, 1930, pl. 14, calls it "Gardannes" [sic] and dates it 1880.

    Gerstle Mack. Paul Cézanne. New York, 1935, p. 341, dates it 1886.

    Alfred H. Barr Jr. in Cubism and Abstract Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1936, pp. 26, 42, 206, no. 33, fig. 29, dates it about 1885–86; relates it to Picasso's "The Poet" (1911; Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice).

    Charles Sterling. "Cézanne et les maîtres d'autrefois." La Renaissance 19 (May–June 1936), pp. 11, 14, fig. 10, dates it about 1885; compares it to El Greco's "View of Toledo" (MMA 29.100.6).

    Lionello Venturi. Cézanne: son art—son oeuvre. Paris, 1936, vol. 1, p. 158, no. 432; vol. 2, pl. 124, no. 432, dates it 1885–86; erroneously lists a private collection, Stockholm in the provenance.

    Erle Loran in Paul Cézanne. Exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Art. San Francisco, 1937, unpaginated, fig. D, illustrates it with a photograph of the same scene, commenting that Cézanne has been "surprisingly faithful" to the motif which proves that "Cézanne never forced an abstraction on nature!".

    Robert J. Goldwater. "Cézanne in America: The Master's Paintings in American Collections." Art News Annual, section I (The 1938 Annual), 36 (March 26, 1938), pp. 152–53, ill., compares it to the paintings of Gardanne in the Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn. (V430, R569) and the Brooklyn Museum (V431, R571), calling the Barnes version the earliest of the three; comments on "the striking evidence of the influence of watercolor technique" in these works.

    Fritz Novotny. Cézanne und das Ende der Wissenschaftlichen Perspektive. Vienna, 1938, p. 34 n. 32, pp. 46, 205, no. 103.

    R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, [1940], p. 346, dates it 1886.

    Erle Loran. Cézanne's Composition: Analysis of His Form with Diagrams and Photographs of His Motifs. [2nd ed., 1946]. Berkeley, 1943, pp. 25, 122–23, pl. XXXVI.

    Bernard Myers. "Post-Impressionism: Foundations of Modern Painting." American Artist 15 (October 1951), pp. 50–51, ill., calls it "View of Gardanne" and comments that the buildings appear to be in "constant, almost Cubist motion".

    Winthrop Sergeant. "Cézanne." Life 32 (February 25, 1952), ill. p. 86 (color), suggests that this picture was left unfinished because Cézanne's wish "to study well-defined planes as they receded into the distance" conflicted with "his desire to produce an effective two-dimensional design".

    Douglas Cooper. "Two Cézanne Exhibitions—II." Burlington Magazine 96 (December 1954), p. 379, dates it probably 1886, along with the Brooklyn Museum version (V431, R571); considers the Barnes version (V430, R569) to be the earliest of the three.

    Lawrence Gowing and Ronald Alley. An Exhibition of Paintings by Cézanne. Exh. cat., Royal Scottish Academy Building. Edinburgh, 1954, unpaginated, under no. 38, compare it stylistically to "Aix: Paysage Rocheux" (Tate Gallery, London; R718).

    Maurice Raynal. Cézanne. Lausanne, 1954, ill. p. 68 (color).

    Introduction by Alfred H. Barr Jr. "Paintings from Private Collections." Museum of Modern Art Bulletin 22 (Summer 1955), pp. 14, 30, no. 14, ill. (installation photo).

    John Richardson. "Cézanne at Aix-en-Provence." Burlington Magazine 98 (November 1956), p. 412, fig. 27, calls it "surely the direct inspiration of early cubist (1908–9) landscapes by Braque and Picasso and even by Derain".

    Robert William Ratcliffe. "Cézanne's Working Methods and Their Theoretical Background." PhD diss., University of London, 1960, p. 212, speculates that the "final or at least later stage" of the roofs in this painting would have "approximated the more 'definitely' shaped roofs" of the Barnes Foundation version (V430, R569).

    "Ninety-first Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1960–1961." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (October 1961), p. 64, date it about 1885.

    Kurt Badt. The Art of Cézanne. [German ed., 1956]. Berkeley, 1965, p. 168.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX–XX Centuries." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3, New York, 1967, pp. 106–7, ill., state that Cézanne painted at Gardanne in the fall of 1885 and during most of 1886; call the three pictures of Gardanne "prophetically cubist" and compare the treatment of the buildings to those in "L'Hermitage à Pontoise" (1881; Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal; V176, R484).

    Frank Elgar. Cézanne. New York, [1969], p. 104, calls it similar to early Cubist works such as Braque's "House at L'Estaque" (Kunstmuseum Bern) or Picasso's "Houses on the Hillside" (Museum of Modern Art, New York).

    Sandra Orienti in L'opera completa di Cézanne. [French ed., 1975; English ed., 1985]. Milan, 1970, p. 103, no. 351, ill.

    Henri Dorra. Art in Perspective: A Brief History. New York, [1972], p. 225, fig. 16-8 (color), calls it an example of Cézanne's "constructive manner" and further compares it to the photograph of the motif [see Ref. Loran 1943].

    Charles S. Moffett. Degas: Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1979, p. 13, ill., suggests that it may have influenced some of Degas's late townscapes, such as "Landscape" (MMA 1975.1.167), noting that Degas may have been familiar with the Gardanne pictures through Vollard.

    John Rewald. Paul Cézanne: The Watercolors, A Catalogue Raisonné. Boston, 1983, p. 145, under no. 248, p. 168, under no. 343.

    Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 190–91, 253, ill. (color, overall and detail).

    John Rewald. Cézanne: A Biography. New York, 1986, p. 275, ill. p. 151 (color), dates it about 1886.

    Roger Hurlburt. "Free Spirits." Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) (December 20, 1992), p. 4D.

    Helen Kohen. "Lasting Impressions." Miami Herald (December 20, 1992), p. 6I, dates it 1885.

    Marilyn Aronberg Lavin. "Piero the Painter Blended Geometry with Religious Art." Smithsonian 23 (December 1992), pp. 125–26, ill., dates it about 1886; compares it to the view of Arezzo in Piero della Francesca's fresco "The Finding of the Cross" (San Francesco, Arezzo).

    Götz Adriani. Cézanne: Gemälde. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Tübingen. Cologne, 1993, p. 124 nn. 1, 5 [English ed., 1995], notes that the MMA and Brooklyn Museum versions of Gardanne together with the painting of Montigny-sur-Loing (1898; Barnes Foundation; V1531, R832) are the only vertically oriented architectural motifs in Cézanne's oeuvre.

    Richard Kendall. Degas Landscapes. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New Haven, 1993, p. 265, fig. 232 (color), discusses this work's irregular geometry and unconventional perspective as probable influences on Degas's landscapes.

    Charles de Lartigue. Les paysages de Paul Cézanne. Lyons, 1995, p. 96.

    John Rewald, in collaboration with Walter Feilchenfeldt, and Jayne Warman. The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 10, 379, 382–85, 562, 567, 570, no. 570; vol. 2, p. 188, fig. 570, dates it about 1886; suggests that it may have been the painting bought by Enrico Costa from Vollard on February 27, 1896 as "'maisons étagées' (elsewhere described as 'maisons rouges claires, étages en hauteur')".

    Joseph J. Rishel in Cézanne. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Philadelphia, 1996, p. 226 [French ed., Paris, 1995], comments that "Cézanne was rarely drawn to subjects so resolutely geometrical" as in this picture.

    Michel Deleuil. Paul Cézanne: Les quinze mois à Gardanne, l'invention de la Sainte-Victoire. Paris, 1997, pp. 18, 46, 56, fig. 19 (color), calls it "Gardanne à midi. Vue de la colline des Frères" and dates it 1886.

    Richard Kendall in The Private Collection of Edgar Degas. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1997, pp. 217–18, fig. 295, suggests that this painting and "Jas de Bouffan" (about 1890–94; Seibu, Tokyo; V470, R688) may have influenced Degas to adopt a similarly open technique in his pictures of Saint-Valéry.

    William Rubin. Cézanne Watercolors. Exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries. 1999, pp. 27–28, fig. 21, dates it 1886; notes that Cézanne kept this picture for ten years before sending it to Vollard's 1895 exhibition and therefore "had plenty of time to work on it if that is what he wanted to do"; asserts that its inclusion in the 1895 exhibition indicates that Cézanne considered it "one of his better pictures"; speculates that Picasso could have seen it at Vollard's in the early 1900s and "would have loved this picture".

    Friedrich Teja Bach in Cézanne: Finished, Unfinished. Exh. cat., Kunstforum Wien. 2000, pp. 298, 300, 389, no. 89, colorpl. 89, dates it about 1886; proposes that the elevated vantage point indicates that it was painted from Cézanne's window; asserts that the white areas of canvas may have been an artistic choice rather than evidence that the picture is unfinished.

    Maria Teresa Benedetti. Cézanne: il padre dei moderni. Exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano. Milan, 2002, p. 45, compares it to Braque's "Castle at La Roche-Guyon" (Stedelijk van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven) and Picasso's "Reservoir at Horta de Ebro" (private collection).

    Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer. Cézanne and Provence: The Painter in His Culture. Chicago, 2003, p. 120, ill. in color, p. 100 and fig. 3.20.

    Felix Baumann in Cézanne and the Dawn of Modern Art. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang, Essen. Ostfildern-Ruit, 2004, pp. 152–53, 231, ill. pp. 155 (color), 208.

    Bruno Ely in Philip Conisbee and Denis Coutagne. Cézanne in Provence. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2006, pp. 150–52, fig. 2 (color), dates it about 1885–86; discusses the three Gardanne paintings, noting that shadows indicate that the Barnes version was probably painted in the morning, ours at noon, and the Brooklyn Museum version in the afternoon.

    Robert Jensen in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, pp. 33, 38, fig. 37 (color) [French ed., "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs-d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," Paris, 2007, pp. 45, 52], notes that this picture suffered damage from rolling and is probably the one Vollard sold to Costa for Fr 500 on February 27, 1896.

    Rebecca A. Rabinow and Jayne S. Warman in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 291.

    Francesca Bardazzi in Cézanne in Florence: Two Collectors and the 1910 Exhibition of Impressionism. Exh. cat., Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Milan, 2007, pp. 89, 93 nn. 9, 10, states that this picture was acquired by Vollard from Costa in 1907–9.

    Bruno Ely in Picasso Cézanne. Exh. cat., Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence. Paris, 2009, p. 28, no. 9, ill. p. 70 (color), dates it about 1886.

    Franz-W. Kaiser in Cézanne—Picasso—Mondriaan. In nieuw perspectief. Exh. cat., Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2009, pp. 152, 233, no. 69, ill. in color, pp. 25, 153, 222.

    Jayne S. Warman in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, p. 82.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History