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Maker(s):Cézanne, Paul
Culture:French (1839 - 1906)
Title:A Turn in the Road at la Roche-Guyon
Date Made:ca. 1885
Materials:oil on canvas
Place Made:France
Measurements:stretcher: 25 1/4 x 31 1/2 in.; 64.135 x 80.01 cm
Narrative Inscription:  unsigned, undated
Accession Number:  SC 1932.2
Credit Line:Purchased with the Tryon Fund
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

Currently on view

landscape; architecture; outdoor; vegetation

Label Text:
Cézanne painted this landscape during the summer of 1885 while visiting fellow artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who was the painting’s first owner. The painting depicts La Roche-Guyon, a picturesque village along the Seine outside Paris. Visible at left are the doors of dwellings carved into a chalk cliff, and above, the village’s medieval castle, summarily painted in rose-gray, block-like forms. Also clearly visible are the artist’s graphite underdrawings and large areas of primed, unpainted canvas, leading to the question of whether this is a finished work.

Whether or not the painting remains unfinished, it shows Cézanne definitively turning away from the loose brushwork of the Impressionists to forge a new, structural approach to painting based on a scaffold of planes and forms. Cézanne’s innovations laid the foundation for much of the avant-garde art of the early twentieth century.

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