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Paul Cezanne, Landscape with Poplars

Key facts
Full title Landscape with Poplars
Artist Paul Cezanne
Artist dates 1839 - 1906
Date made about 1885-7
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 71 × 58 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Mrs M.S. Walzer as part of the Richard and Sophie Walzer Bequest from the Cassirer collection, 1979
Inventory number NG6457
Location Room 44
Collection Main Collection
Landscape with Poplars
Paul Cezanne

This painting is of a summer landscape in Cezanne’s native Provence in the south of France. Like the Impressionists, Cezanne was interested in depicting the landscape primarily using touches of colour. Although this painting shows Cezanne’s debt to Impressionism, his method is more controlled. For example, he has not sought to spontaneously capture the transitory effects of light but has instead used colour to systematically build up the structure of the entire composition.

Cezanne created the volume and texture of the large poplar trees here using vertical and oblique brushstrokes of green and blue laid down in parallel formation. The natural forms of the trees contrast with the tauter, more geometric man-made structures in the centre of the picture. The short brushstrokes used for both the trees and the buildings contrast with the relatively unworked and uniform area of sky and the looser, almost scribbled, strokes of the foreground meadow. Areas of raw canvas are visible along the picture’s right edge.

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