Possibly Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Possibly Count Enrico Costa
Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Laroche Family, Paris
Jacques Laroche, Paris
Private collection, since 1958
Paris, Galerie Ambroise Vollard, Paul Cézanne, November - December 1895
Frankfurt, Kunstverein, Die Klassische Malerei Frankreichs im 19. Jahrhundert, 1912, no. 7
New York, 69th Regiment Armory, Chicago, The Art Institute, Boston, The Copley Society, International Exhibition of Modern Art aka The Armory Show, respectively 17 February – 15 March 1913, no. 218, 24 March - 16 April 1913, no. 42, and 28 April - 19 May 1913, no. 17
Paris, Chambre Syndicale de la Curiosité et des Beaux-Arts, L’Art français au service de la science française: exposition d’œuvres d’art des 18e, 19e et 20e siecles, au profit du Comité national d’aide à la recherche scientifique, 25 April - 15 May 1923, no. 167
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Cézanne, 5 November - 5 December 1959, no. 17, ill.
Lausanne, Fondation de l’Hermitage, L’Impressionnisme dans les collections romandes (ses précurseurs, ses maîtres, son héritage), 16 June - 21 October 1984, no. 104
Andros, Museum of Contemporary Art, Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation, Classics of Modern Art, 27 June - 19 September 1999, pp. 44-45, ill. p. 45
Ambroise Vollard, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1914, ill. 36
Georges Rivière, Le Maître Paul Cézanne, Floury, Paris, 1923, p. 208
Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, Son Art - Son Œuvre, Paul Rosenberg, Paris, 1936, no. 312
Francis Jourdain, Cézanne, Braun and E. S. Hermann, Paris and New York, 1950, ill.
Kurt Badt, Die Kunst Cézannes, Prestel, Munich, 1956, p. 116
Theodore Reff, “A New Exhibition of Cézanne“, Burlington Magazine, vol. 102, no. 684, March 1960, p. 117
Armory Show 50th Anniversary 1913-1963, exhibition catalogue, Utica and New York, 1963, no. 218, p. 185
Milton W. Brown, The Story of the Armory Show, 1963, p. 229, no. 218
John Rewald, Cezanne and America. Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, London and Princeton, 1989, pp. 192, 195, ill. 99
John Rewald, Walter Feilchenfeldt and Jayne Warman, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne. A Catalogue Raisonné, Thames and Hudson, London and New York, 1996, no. 505
Paul Cézanne’s strong bond with his native land, the south of France, is evident in many paintings depicting its beautiful and rich landscapes. He was also delighted to paint views of Pontoise and Auvers-sur-Oise, sites he had scoured with the artist being at the same time his teacher and student, Camille Pissarro.
For nearly two years, from the beginning of 1872 till December 1873, the two artists worked together almost daily, tirelessly capturing the countryside and painting side-by-side similar subjects. Even today, it is difficult to say exactly how they affected each other. As for Cézanne, we distinguish three types of development in his painting that are most certainly due to his closeness to Pissarro: the opening of his palette to lighter shades, the choice to paint outdoors, in front of the subject, and the apprenticeship in slowness, in accepting the exhausting working conditions, in wanting to capture his senses on the canvas without caring for the hours of hard work required to depict them.
Cézanne painted the Countryside in Auvers-sur-Oise about eight years after he had stopped working with Pissarro. When they met again, he created this composition, through which he presented all the work he had done during the years of their separation. His pursuits had led him to move away from the Impressionist technique and to adopt a more “constructivist” approach, clearly visible in this work. The first we realize is a completely personal perception of the landscape, which tends to render his own feeling, without any desire for beautification. Thus, the view of the sky, which is covered with feathery clouds, is in fact areas that were not touched by the oil, highlighting the underlying yellowish preparatory work. Trees and fields have been worked with much tighter and concentrated brush strokes, each one oriented so as to create an impression of a unique perspective.
The only elements that come to disturb the balance of vegetation, which the painter deliberately rendered in green tones, are due to human intervention. In the foreground, the viewer can see the ploughed fields and the path, all rendered in shades of yellow and ochre. In the background, placed in the centre of the composition, at the junction of the escape points of the painting, there are the roofs of the houses consisting the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, giving the impression of complete harmony between man and nature.
The Countryside in Auvers-sur-Oise was exhibited, among other important works, at the historic Armory Show in New York in 1913, an exhibition that offered the American public the opportunity to discover the impressionist masters, but also more modern trends, such as fauvism, cubism and futurism.