Country House by a River
Oil on canvas
81 x 65 cm
Gift of Yad Hanadiv, Jerusalem, from the collection of Miriam Alexandrine de Rothschild, daughter of the first Baron Edmond de Rothschild
Accession number: B66.1043
By the time Country House by the Water was painted, Paul Cézanne had mastered his impetuous nature and had slowly evolved his own unique style. He had learned much about color and plein-air painting, particularly with Pissarro’s gentle prodding, but he rejected the Impressionists’ emphasis on capturing the fleeting moment. Instead, Cézanne had arrived at a mode of expression which, while based on nature, introduced organized forms and a new way of presenting depth and volume.
In this work, the centrally placed house is composed of simplified geometric forms. Even its reflections and the surrounding water have an aspect of solidity and stability. Depth and volume are achieved by the manipulation of color alone, and result from the juxtaposition of darker and lighter shades and tones. Structured color planes composed of directional brushstrokes, particularly in the trees, further contribute to the overall architectural order of the composition.