This composition combines two separate studies that are unrelated to any known painting by Cézanne. The brownish tone that covers areas at the lower left and along the right edge may have been added by Cézanne’s dealer, Ambroise Vollard, who sold this picture to the painter Édouard Vuillard in exchange for one of the artist’s own works. The present canvas is thought to date to 1878–79, but 1883–87 has also been proposed.
[Ambroise Vollard, Paris, until about 1895; by exchange for a work by Vuillard, to Vuillard]; Édouard Vuillard, Paris (about 1895–d. 1940); his nephew, Jacques Roussel, Paris (from 1940); [Sam Salz, New York, until 1961; sold to MMA]
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune & Cie. "Exposition Cézanne," January 10–22, 1910, no. 43 (as "Nature morte," lent by M. E. Vuillard).
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Rétrospective Paul Cézanne (1839–1906)," June 1–30, 1926, no. 23 (as "Pommes").
Ornans. Musée Départemental Gustave Courbet. "Courbet / Cézanne: La vérité en peinture," June 29–October 14, 2013, no. 37.
Lionello Venturi. Cézanne: son art—son oeuvre. Paris, 1936, vol. 1, p. 174, no. 508; vol. 2, pl. 156, no. 508, calls it "Quelques pommes" and dates it 1883–87.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 99–100, ill., call it two separate studies; believe that the brownish color at the lower left and along the right edge could have been added by either Vuillard or Vollard, both of whom were owners of the picture.
Sandra Orienti inL'opera completa di Cézanne. [French ed., 1975; English ed., 1985]. Milan, 1970, p. 108, no. 479, ill., dates it 1883–87.
Friederike Kitschen. Cézanne, Stilleben. Ostfildern-Ruit bei Stuttgart, 1995, pp. 77, 198, pl. 25, dates it about 1877.
John Rewald, in collaboration with Walter Feilchenfeldt, and Jayne Warman. The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1996, vol. 1, p. 229, 563, no. 340; vol. 2, p. 108, fig. 340, calls it "Quelques pommes" and dates it 1877–79.
Guy Cogeval. Édouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Montreal, 2003, ill. p. 262 (installation photo), this picture appears in the background of a Vuillard photograph taken in the artist's rue Truffaut apartment, about 1902–4.