Cézanne painted this hillside scene from direct observation; he felt strongly, he said, that "pictures painted inside, in the studio, will never be as good." He also believed that "when out-of-door scenes are represented, the contrasts between the figures and the ground are astounding and the landscape is magnificent." Indeed, the geometric ocher planes of the buildings—boldly outlined in blue—emerge in focus from the loosely rendered foliage. As the road bends down the hill, it shifts and ultimately is subsumed by the greenery, which is actually composed of a striking array of colors. This is the last painting Cézanne made in the small French village of Montgeroult before returning to his hometown of Aix-en-Provence, where he remained until his death.
Gallery label from 2012