Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale


Paul Cézanne
1839 - 1906
watercolour and pencil on paper 
32.6 by 46.8cm., 12 7/8 by 18 1/2 in.
Executed circa 1895.
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This work will be included in the forthcoming online Catalogue raisonné of Cezanne's works on paper being prepared under the direction of Walter Feilchenfeldt, David Nash and Jayne Warman.


Anna C. Pellew, London (acquired in 1928; sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 6th & 7th July 1928, lot 99)
Paul Rosenberg, Paris & New York (circa 1928-29)
Wildenstein Galleries, New York
Cornelius J. Sullivan, New York (acquired from the above; sale: American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, 30th April 1937, lot 77)
Mr & Mrs David M. Heyman, New York (purchased at the above sale)
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Jan Krugier (acquired from the above in 1984; sale: Sotheby's, London, 5th February, 2014, lot 6)
Private Collection, Switzerland (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2015


Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago & New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cézanne Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings, 1952, no. 64, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from 1885-86)
New York, Fine Art Associates, Cézanne Watercolors, 1956, no. 7, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Cézanne, 1959, no. 68, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from 1885-86)
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Cézanne Watercolors, 1963, no. 20, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from 1885-86)
Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago & Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Cézanne, an Exhibition in Honour of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Phillips Collection, 1971, no. 40, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from circa 1885)
Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais, Cézanne, 1995-96, no. 152, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (as dating from circa 1890-95)
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Linie, Licht und Schatten. Meisterzeichnungen und Skulpturen der Sammlung Jan und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 1999, no. 120, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Venice, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, The Timeless Eye. Master Drawings from the Jan and Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski Collection, 1999, no. 139, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Miradas sin Tiempo. Dibujos, Pinturas y Esculturas de la Coleccion Jan y Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2000, no. 138, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, La passion du dessin. Collection Jan et Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2002, no. 121, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Vienna, Albertina Museum, Goya bis Picasso. Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2005, no. 106, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Munich, Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Das Ewige Auge - Von Rembrandt bis Picasso. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2007, no. 122, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, son art - son œuvre, Paris, 1936, vol. I, no. 927, catalogued p. 255; vol. II, no. 927, illustrated pl. 286 (as dating from 1885-86)
Meyer Schapiro, Paul Cézanne, New York, 1952, illustrated p. 17 (as dating from 1885-86)
John Rewald, Paul Cézanne, The Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1983, no. 407, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Executed circa 1895, the exquisitely constructed composition of Le Verger is dominated by a group of slender, elegant trees, their tops disappearing beyond the edges of the sheet. Here the green, brown, purple and blue tones of the artist’s pared down palette lend an increasing level of abstraction to Cézanne’s landscape. At the same time, the soft hues imbue the work with a sense of nature’s harmony: ‘Sensations of harmony are expressed at once in his choices of motif and in the ways in which he painted and sketched’ (Matthew Simms quoted in ‘Cézanne and the Modern, Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection (exhibition catalogue), Princeton, University Art Museum, 2014, p. 131).

Having rejected conventional methods of rendering perspective, Cézanne built spatial structure within the present work purely by juxtaposing different shapes and colours. By contrasting the thin horizontal and gently curved lines of the trees with the unpainted patches of paper, the artist creates a feeling of expanding and receding spaces, while this network of rhythmic shapes rendered in light, translucent hues gives the watercolour a wonderful impression of light and atmosphere. The branches reach across the surface of the sheet in the manner of untamed creeping tendrils, intertwining and creating harmonious patterns, as Matthew Simms writes, ‘Cézanne can also be seen focusing on patterning and formal analogy as an organic rather than a geometric principle’ (quoted in ibid, p. 137).

Discussing the present work, Françoise Cachin commented: ‘Cézanne always liked to paint and draw the complex patterns of tangled branches, which naturally form a powerful structure where space is organized into irregular compartments. […] In the present drawing the painter lovingly described with watercolor bare winter branches, making them resemble a low vault over the schematic verticals of the tree trunks and the horizontals of the wall in the middle distance’ (Françoise Cachin quoted in Cézanne (exhibition catalogue), London, Tate Gallery, 1995-96, p. 269).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale