PAUL CÉZANNE

Mount Sainte-Victoire with a Large Pine

Mount Sainte-Victoire stands to the east of Aix-en-Provence, dominating views of the surrounding landscape.

The mountain already held a symbolic appeal for the region. It was associated with an ancient Roman victory and with early Christian festivals.

In Cézanne’s time, a cross was erected at its peak to celebrate the fact that Provence had been spared from invasion during the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71).

However whilst Cézanne’s rendering of the mountain makes it monumental, he deliberately prevents us from seeing this as a timeless classical landscape: there is a modern railway viaduct to the right hand side of the composition, and the small blocky houses represent local farmhouses rather than great classical architecture.

This painting was first exhibited at a local salon of amateur artists in Aix-en-Provence in 1895. This may be surprising, given that Cézanne had achieved success in Paris and exhibited in more official spaces before this: for the local population however, Cézanne’s modern approach was incomprehensible. 

 


Find out more


IN FOCUS ON PAINTINGS
Looking in detail at Cézanne's Montagne Sainte Victoire with Professor John House.

Watch the movie [9:37 min]

 


Impressionists and Post Impressionists
With Dr Caroline Campbell, Schroder Foundation Curator of Paintings.

Watch the movie [9:37 min]