In Tate Modern in London, at the Cezanne exhibition. Galleries are lovely places to photograph people engaged in what they are doing. The painting is The Gulf of Marseille seen from L’Estaque. The text reads
With its view across the sea to Marseille, this landscape and the other works in this room demonstrate the flattening planes of colour Cezanne described by letter to Pissarro. This work belonged to the impressionist artist Gustave Caillebotte, who bequeathed his collection, including five paintings by Cezanne. to the French state. Following difficult negotiations between the reluctant representatives of the government and Caillebotte’s estate, only two our of five works by Cezanne, including this one, were accepted into the national collection in 1896.
The ‘reluctant representatives of the government’ – seems to show that they didn’t like Cezanne’s work. Caillebotte died in 1894 and it was not until 1897 that Cezanne sold his first picture to a museum.
In 1897 Hugo von Tschudi bought Cézanne’s landscape painting The Mill on the Couleuvre near Pontoise in the Durand-Ruel Gallery for the Berlin National Gallery.
So I guess the ‘reluctant representatives of the government’ later wished they had taken the other three Cezanne paintings.
So What Did You Think Of The Exhibition?
It was advertised as a blockbuster, but there are so many of Cezanne’s landscapes that were not in the exhibition. Some apples in bowls on tables, some people, and a big hole where his best work could have been.
That said, I loved Still Life With Apples and Peaches that he painted the year before his death. This photograph cannot do justice to the original. The painting is so well composed, the light and shade, the tones, the whole thing is just wrapped up in a wonderful bundle of completeness.