This canvas painted in oil by Paul Cezanne in the year 1885 is now exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
This is another of the great landscapes of this post-impressionist artist, who painted various places, but two in particular. On the one hand the Mountain of Sainte-Victoire, and on the other the area of l'Estaque, a place that he chooses in this work to portray the Gulf of Marseille, but he also used it in other frames such as El mar de l'Estaque.
Cezanne's Gulf of Marseille
Cezanne's landscape experience starts from Impressionism, taking from them the freedom of vision and atmospheric transparency, but from there, he endows his views with a structure much more compact. He prefers unitary and robust compositions, to transform the image into a kind of architecture, whose basic elements are framing and color.
In this case, he has preferred a perspective that seems to open up, and that at the same time is cut by the mass of the hills and that anchors well to the ground in some way with that foreground of simple and very clear volumes of the houses, seeing roofs, chimneys and also trees.
he presents us with a game with color temperatures, using cold tones for water and sky, while he reserves warm ones for rocks and houses. Although one and the other unifies them andrelates through the atmospheric veils that Cezanne. loves so much
In any of the themes addressed by the painter, whether portraits or still lifes, the role of geometry was very important and also in his landscapes. He considered that the lines parallel to the horizon were the ones that should give extension to a landscape, and on the other hand, depth was achieved with those perpendicular to that horizon. But that's the basics, then other factors come into play, especially his light vibrations, in which he uses mainly reds and yellows, always combined with bluish tones that make us feel the air.
On the other hand, this attitude towards depth and expanse was also caused by his changing his residence to thesouth of France, where the landscapes are wider. This will also help you simplify his forms, becoming more schematic, more geometric and more structural. He even creates new structures where his alternation between light and shadow is important. After all, Cezanne was going to be the starting point for subsequent cubist painting, something that coincidentally was also going to happen in the southern territories of France, and if not see the work of Georges Braque: Landscape of L'Estaque.