Object Image

At the Water's Edge

Cézanne’s work, especially landscape paintings, increasingly verged on abstraction in the artist’s last two decades. In this study of light and reflection, structures on the bank and on the river are simplified into geometric shapes that contrast with the organic lushness surrounding them. The composition threatens to dissolve into patches of color, and pictorial space is flattened. Only near the end of his life did Cézanne’s critical reception, once so derisive, become more open to this aesthetic, which also had an enormous impact on successive generations of painters.

The painting also suggests Cézanne’s working method. The concentration of color in the central motif of the blue house, in th...

c. 1890
Oil on canvas
73.0 x 92.5cm
Image and text © National Gallery of Art, 2020

Where you'll find this

National Gallery of Art
Permanent collection