Mount Sainte-Victoire with a Large Pine

Unusually for his post-1880 works, Cézanne has signed this painting on the front of the canvas, at the bottom right. The colour he uses stands out from the field behind, but matches the tones of the tree trunk and outlines.

Joachim Gasquet, a young poet and son of one of Cézanne’s childhood friends, saw this painting when it was exhibited in 1895 and admired it. Cézanne, flattered by Gasquet’s praise, gave him the painting. The two men remained good friends, with Cézanne painting Gasquet’s portrait in 1896 (the picture is now in the National Gallery of Prague) and Gasquet writing a book about the artist in 1921. Gasquet sold this painting after Cézanne’s death for the extremely high price of 12,000 French francs.