Chestnut Trees and Farm at Jas de Bouffan
Paul Cézanne, French, Chestnut Trees and Farm at Jas de Bouffan, ca. 1886, Oil on canvas; 65.4 x 81 cm (25 13/16 x 31 7/8 inches), Museum Appropriation Fund 33.053
The Cézanne family’s country home outside Aix-en-Provence appeared often in the artist’s work. Called Jas de Bouffan (“sheepfold of the winds”), the property consisted of an 18th-century manor house with surrounding gardens and a farm. Just out of sight of this view, beyond the farm buildings at right, loomed another favorite motif: the shimmering Montagne Sainte-Victoire. In 1881 Paul Cézanne built a studio at Jas de Bouffan and for the next eighteen years spent much of his time painting nearby landscapes. This composition features an allée of chestnut trees seen from the garden behind the house. Cézanne massed the trees at left, covering the yellow stucco planes of the house with a blanket of spring foliage. The trees, lawn, and sky are rendered as organized patches of color whose surface rhythms embrace the interlocking geometric shapes of the house, wall, and farm buildings.