At the end of his life, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) wrote: "Cézanne [...] was under my influence at Pontoise and I was under his." [...] By Jove, we were inseparable! But what is certain is that each of us retained the only thing that matters, "his sense of feeling"... this is easy enough to demonstrate..." (letter to his son Lucien, November 22, 1895). This painting is indicative of the influence Pissaro had on Cézanne after their time spent together in Pontoise and Auvers. It can especially be seen in the choice of vertical format for the landscape and by the use of foreground with the tree trunk and the low wall. Thus, when Cézanne painted this canvas during a stay in l'Estaque in 1876, Cézanne shared his new discoveries with Pissarro and tried to draw him into the light of the region where he was born. Nonetheless, the movement in Cézanne's painting remain very unique: the trunk's inclination and the branches draw the eye toward the trees located in the centre of the composition. A view from up high is suggested despite the total absence of a midground. The thick and strongly differentiated brush strokes are not yet harmonised in a systematic way like they would be in his later period. Nonetheless, the material and the shaping of objects already promise to be one of the painter's priorities. Cézanne's travels to l'Estaque were numerous, inspiring the majority of his views of the sea. This work was presented during the famous Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d'Automne in 1904 in Paris, which constituted in particular a founding event for the origins of Fauvism, and later, Cubism.
Provenance : A. Vollard, Paris ; Mrs Henry P. Newmann, née von Duering, Hambourg ; Galeries Wildenstein, Paris-Londres-New-York ; acheté par Domenica Walter en 1953