Paul Cézanne. Pines and Rocks (Fontainebleau?). c. 1897

Paul Cézanne

Pines and Rocks (Fontainebleau?)

c. 1897

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
32 x 25 3/4" (81.3 x 65.4 cm)
Credit
Lillie P. Bliss Collection
Object number
16.1934
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is on view on Floor 5, in a Collection Gallery, with 19 other works online.
Paul Cézanne has 21 works online.
There are 2,321 paintings online.

Unlike the expansive vistas often seen in landscape paintings, Cézanne's Pines and Rocks is a tightly framed, compressed view of nature. Low bushes and massive boulders form a bulwark against the forest, and a vertical line of pine trees extends upward, obscuring the sky beyond. Though the trees and rocks firmly structure the scene, Cézanne also infused Pines and Rocks with a sense of airiness and movement. Glimpses of bare, unfinished canvas peek through the dense weave of brushstrokes.

At first glance, Cézanne's palette seems limited to blues, greens, and browns, but a closer look reveals endless variations of colors, including shades of yellows, violets, and reds. At close range the painting appears nearly abstract—a dancing network of innumerable brushstrokes, some parallel, others looser and more rapidly applied. Stepping back, these varied marks coalesce into a shimmering effect that Cézanne called "vibrations of light."

Gallery label from 2011

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Ambroise Vollard (1867-1939), Paris
Cornelis Hoogendijk, The Hague [and/or Amsterdam?]
Paul Rosenberg, Paris
Galerie Barbazanges, Paris
Marius de Zayas, New York
Lillie P. Bliss, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lillie P. Bliss Collection, 1934

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