History And Context


In 1901 Cézanne built a studio north of the city of Aix and about twenty kilometers west of Mont Sainte-Victoire. Chosen for for its panoramic view of his beloved Provence, this commanding site was the main focus of Cézanne’s work until his death in 1906. Dispirited and in failing health, he increasingly turned to painting for spiritual nourishment. Though never mentioned in his letters, The Garden at Les Lauves seems to belong to the “constructions after nature, based on methods, sensations and developments suggested by the model” that Cézanne desired to pursue as late as fall a906. Writing of the tortuous slowness of his “researches,” Cézanne still reveled in views of “the same subject, seen from a different angle,” with which “I would occupy myself… for months… by leaning once a little more to the right, once a little more to the left."

The painting resonates with structural solidity and compositional harmony. It seems to be a distilled vision of observations on conveying pictorial space that Cézanne made in a letter to Emile Bernard in 1906: “Lines parallel to the horizon give breadth, that is, a section of nature…. Lines perpendicular to the horizon give depth. But nature…. Is more depth than surface.”

More Works by Paul Cézanne In the Collection


Seated Woman in Blue
Paul Cézanne
between 1902 and 1906
Self-Portrait
Paul Cézanne
ca. 1898

Fields at Bellevue
Paul Cézanne
between 1892 and 1895
Mont Sainte-Victoire
Paul Cézanne
between 1886 and 1887
Self-Portrait
Paul Cézanne
between 1878 and 1880