Path, Trees, and Walls (Chemin, Arbes Et Murs)

Path, Trees, and Walls (Chemin, Arbes Et Murs)

photo: Bruce M. White
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About This Work

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)
Path, Trees, and Walls, ca. 1900
Watercolor an traces of graphite on cream wove paper
46.7 x 31.4 cm. (18 3/8 x 12 3/8 in.)


[Ambroise Vollard (1867–1939), Paris]. [Paul Cassirer, Amsterdam, by October 1938]; sold to Erich Maria Remarque (1898–1970), Porto Ronco, 1 Nov.1938; [Walter Feilchenfeldt (b. 1939), Zurich, 1969]; sold to Allan H. Polkes (1931–1969), New York, 1969; by descent to Allan H. Polkes Estate; sold to Henry Pearlman, by Feb. 1970; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, 1978.

Critical Perspective

The graphite cross-hatching in this work is fainter than is usual for Cezanne’s watercolors, particularly in the bottom left corner, suggesting that perhaps the artist’s pencil was very hard or dulled down to the wood. Together with the spare patches of color, this virtual elimination of graphite indicates a radical economy of means, whereby Cézanne made the very blankness of the page stand simultaneously for flatness and depth.