This typically complex landscape probably dates from the period 1877–79 when Cézanne lived in the town of Melun. Probably inspired by the example of Camille Pissarro, he set himself the task of depicting a vista through a screen of trees. The eccentric genius of Cézanne transformed what might have been a merely charming view into a somewhat ominous scene of the isolated house with its black interior just off center. The painter was developing a style of short, brushy parallel strokes that would form a tapestry-like texture drawing attention to the surface and the application of paint. It was in the fall of 1879 that Cézanne wrote from Melun to his close friend, Émile Zola: “I am still striving to find my way as a painter. Nature presents me with the greatest difficulties.”

Paul Cézanne
French, 1839–1906
House in the Country, c. 1877–79
Oil on canvas
Anonymous Gift, 2000.1.1

From Our Collection

1594, Caravaggio 1731, Canaletto 1749, Panini 1773, Wright

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