Monday, September 30, 2013

20 Favorite Paintings #3 - Cezanne's Mt. Saint Victoire

I will be very straightforward, Cezanne's work is rather hit or miss for me.  His work that I like I really like but there is also a good bit that I just really get into.  I tend to prefer some of his earlier work as well as the work he did near the end of his life.  I think his still lifes show his skill as a draftsman.  It seems funny then that I would selelct a painting as one of my 20 favorites that is from a period of his that might be my least favorite.  I could have selected one of several Cezanne's to be amongst my 20 favorites, all from this time period!  Granted, I do really like this piece.  It has great lyrical movement in the tree branches which contrasts nicely with the organized farms and linear elements in the midground.  Normally, I shy away from a design element which is not visibly grounded in the picture frame, i.e. the tree and most particularly the branches coming from outside the frame on the right.  In this case, these elements are not so terribly intrusive to me and contribute well to the design.

But really, it is Cezanne's doggedly relentless pursuit of this mountain that I really like.  It is reported he painted it more than 60 times in one decade!  That is admirable no matter what one thinks of the result itself.  I have places I would like to explore in such a prolific manner.  Hopefully, one day I will have the opportunity.

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