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Forest, c. 1902-1904

Paul Cézanne
French, 1839 - 1906
oil on canvas
81.9 x 66 cm
Purchased 1950
National Gallery of Canada (no. 5770)

"Forest" portrays a bank of roadway near Aix-en-Provence, perhaps the entrance to Château Noir, a wooded estate where Cézanne often painted and which he tried unsuccessfully to purchase in 1899. The rich red soil of the region is evident in this view of the road that opens onto a clearing sheltered by tall parasol pines. It is an unusual choice of subject because it lacks a clear centre of interest, yet Cézanne's portrayal bears a striking visual balance of horizontal and vertical lines, as well as dark and light tones.

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