Paul Cézanne - The banks of the Marne 1888

The banks of the Marne 1888
The banks of the Marne
1888 65x81cm oil/canvas
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

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From Hermitage, St. Petersburg:
Landscapes were perhaps the most favoured motif in the work of the Impressionists, and in landscapes a shivering reflection in water was the symbol of the changeability of the visible world. In Cezanne's painting, however, the reflection is still, the water seems to be frozen, like a mirror. Despite his friendship with the Impressionists, Cezanne rejected their approach to painting and sought to capture not the transitory but the permanent. The markedly centralised composition of the painting, framed by trees, is enclosed and stable. The brushstrokes follow the form of the object and model generalised shapes which are really more like simple geometrical bodies. The tonality of the colouring is determined by the green trees and bluish air, made almost thick and tangible by the will of the artist. Cezanne brings out the clear structure of the material world and endows nature with a certain majesty.