Despite the many areas of canvas left bare, this is one of the few paintings Cézanne signed and thus regarded as "finished." It shows a view of the Jesuit estate of Saint-Joseph, situated on a hill, the Colline des Pauvres, on the road between Aix and the village of Le Tholonet, an area beloved by the artist since his youth. This picture was the first by Cézanne to enter an American museum: the Metropolitan acquired it from the historic Armory Show in 1913, for the highest price of any work in the exhibition.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): P. Cézanne
[Ambroise Vollard, Paris, ca. 1899; stock book A, no. 3759, bought from the artist for Fr 200]; Auguste Pellerin, Paris (until 1910; traded with two other Cézannes, Rewald 1999 nos. 725 and 885, plus cash, on December 24, 1910, to Bernheim-Jeune); [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1910; sold together with Rewald 1999 nos. 725 and 885 on December 30, 1910, to Vollard]; [Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1910–13; stock no. 5293; sold March 30, 1913, from Armory Show to MMA]
Frankfurter Kunstverein. "Die klassische Malerei Frankreichs im 19. Jahrhundert: ein Überblick über die Entwicklung der modernen französischen Malerei in ausgewählten Werken der führenden Meister," July 18–October 20, 1912, no. 10b (as "Landschaft") [probably exhibited beginning in early September as per Vollard archives].
New York. Armory of the Sixty-ninth Regiment. "International Exhibition of Modern Art (The Armory Show)," February 17–March 15, 1913, no. 217 (as "Colline des pauvres," lent by M. A. Vollard).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 53.
Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Museum of Art. "Cézanne," November 10–December 10, 1934, no. 41.
Cincinnati Art Museum. "Pictures for Peace: A Retrospective Exhibition Organized from the Armory Show of 1913," March 18–April 16, 1944, no. 4.
Utica, N.Y. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. "Masterpieces of French Impressionist Painting," March 1–22, 1953, no catalogue (continuing series of one painting a month).
Aix-en-Provence. Pavillon de Vendôme. "Exposition pour commémorer le cinquantenaire de la mort de Cézanne," July 21–August 15, 1956, no. 52.
Amherst, Mass. Amherst College, Mead Arts Building. "The 1913 Armory Show in Retrospect," February 17–March 17, 1958, no. 6.
Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Les sources du XXe siècle: Les arts en Europe de 1884 à 1914," November 4, 1960–January 23, 1961, no. 84.
Vienna. Österreichische Galerie, Oberes Belvedere. "Paul Cézanne, 1839–1906," April 14–June 18, 1961, no. 35 (as "View of the 'Domaine Saint-Joseph' near Le Tholonet").
Utica. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. "1913 Armory Show, 50th Anniversary Exhibition," February 17–March 31, 1963, no. 217.
New York. Armory of the Sixty-ninth Regiment. "1913 Armory Show, 50th Anniversary Exhibition," April 6–28, 1963, no. 217.
Nashville. Fisk University. "100 Years of European Painting," April 28–June 10, 1965, unnum. checklist.
New York. Wildenstein. "Olympia's Progeny," October 28–November 27, 1965, no. 66.
Tokyo. National Museum of Western Art. "Exposition Cézanne," March 30–May 19, 1974, no. 38.
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Exposition Cézanne," June 1–July 17, 1974, no. 38.
Cultural Center of Fukuoka. "Exposition Cézanne," July 24–August 18, 1974, no. 38.
Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. "Paris—New York," June 1–September 19, 1977, unnumbered cat.
Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 91.
Aix-en-Provence. Musée Granet. "Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne," June 16–September 2, 1990, no. 26 (as "La colline Saint Joseph").
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Classic Cézanne," November 27, 1998–February 28, 1999, no. 28.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," September 13, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 39.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," February 17–May 13, 2007, no. 39.
Montclair Art Museum. "Cézanne and American Modernism," September 13, 2009–January 3, 2010, no. 8.
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Cézanne and American Modernism," February 14–May 23, 2010, no. 8.
Phoenix Art Museum. "Cézanne and American Modernism," June 26–September 26, 2010, no. 8.
New-York Historical Society. "The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution," October 11, 2013–February 23, 2014, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," March 18–September 4, 2016, unnumbered cat. (colorpl. 120).
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Recent Accessions: A Landscape by Cézanne." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (May 1913), pp. 108–9, ill., calls it "La Colline des pauvres" and dates it about 1887; notes that it was presumably executed near Cézanne's house in Aix.
Walter Pach. Letter to Bryson Burroughs. March 30, 1913, relates that according to Vollard, Cézanne's son dated this painting to 1887.
[Henry McBride]. "News of Artists New and Old at Metropolitan." New York Sun (May 18, 1913), sec. 6, p. 3, ill., notes the Museum's recent acquisition of this painting from the Armory Show.
Bryson Burroughs. Letter to Walter Pach. March 24, 1913 [published in Ref. Perlman 2002, p. 120], requests information about this picture, adding that he may also write to Vollard for its history.
Ambroise Vollard. Letter to Bryson Burroughs. May 16, 1913, confirms the location of this picture as "La colline des Pauvres," situated in the environs of Aix-en-Provence.
Bryson Burroughs. Letter to Ambroise Vollard. April 2, 1913, requests any information regarding this picture.
Bryson Burroughs. Letter to John W. Alexander. February 28, 1913, asks Alexander [member of the MMA Purchasing Committee] to see this painting at the Armory Show.
Cézanne. Paris, 1914, p. 73, pl. LI, calls it "Paysage montagneux (La Colline des fauves [sic])".
Ambroise Vollard. Paul Cézanne. [Eng. ed., 1923]. Paris, 1914, pl. I, illustrates it among works in museum collections.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Nineteenth-Century French Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 13 (August 1918), pp. 180–81, ill.
Georges Rivière. Le Maître Paul Cézanne. Paris, 1923, p. 219, as "Paysage de Provence"; dates it about 1892; describes it as representing "Le petit Roquefavour".
DeWitt H. Parker. The Analysis of Art. New Haven, 1926, p. 6, fig. 1, calls it "The Poorhouse on the Hill".
George Sakier. "La Peinture française du XIXe siècle au 'Metropolitan Museum of Art' de New-York." L'Amour de l'art 7 (June 1926), ill. p. 202.
Fritz Neugass. "Paul Cézanne." Creative Art 9 (October 1931), ill. p. 278.
Lionello Venturi. Cézanne: son art—son oeuvre. Paris, 1936, vol. 1, p. 207, no. 660; vol. 2, pl. 211, no. 660, as "La Colline des pauvres"; dates it 1888–94.
Fritz Novotny. Cézanne und das Ende der Wissenschaftlichen Perspektive. Vienna, 1938, p. 197, no. 33, dates it about 1890 and identifies it as a view of the Domaine Saint-Joseph.
Albert C. Barnes and Violette De Mazia. The Art of Cézanne. New York, 1939, pp. 356–57, 413, no. 110, date it 1888–94; compare the foliage in this picture to that in "Well" (V485, R764; Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn.) and "Mont Sainte-Victoire with Viaduct" (MMA 29.100.64).
Henry McBride. "Collecting from a Critical Viewpoint." Art News, section I (The 1939 Annual), 37, no. 22 (February 25, 1939), p. 66, ill., recalls that the Museum's director, Edward Robinson, failed to mention the acquisition of this picture at a press preview.
Jerome Mellquist. "The Armory Show 30 Years Later." Magazine of Art 36 (December 1943), pp. 299, 301, ill., notes that it is the first Cézanne to enter an American museum.
Milton W. Brown. American Painting from the Armory Show to the Depression. Princeton, 1955, p. 94, remarks that this acquisition, by Bryson Burroughs, was a "landmark in the museum's history" but notes that the museum's director, Edward Robinson, was reluctant to acknowledge its purchase.
John Richardson. "Cézanne at Aix-en-Provence." Burlington Magazine 98 (November 1956), p. 412, disagrees with the date of 1895–97 given in Exh. Aix-en-Provence 1956, stating that a date of 1890 is more likely.
Leopold Reidemeister. Cézanne. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Lempertz. Cologne, 1956, p. 48, no. 25, ill., dates it 1890–94; notes that the St. Joseph estate was once owned by the Jesuits, and describes the location as not far from the Château Noir, on the road to Le Tholonet.
Exposition pour commémorer le cinquantenaire de la mort de Cézanne. Exh. cat., Pavillon de Vendôme. Aix-en-Provence, 1956, unpaginated, no. 52, ill., dates it 1895–97.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 86, calls it "Poorhouse on the Hill".
The 1913 Armory Show in Retrospect. Exh. cat., Amherst College. Amherst, 1958, pp. 14–15, no. 6, ill., dates it about 1877.
Guy Habasque. "L'armory show." L'Oeil 50 (February 1959), pp. 14–15, ill.
Robert William Ratcliffe. "Cézanne's Working Methods and Their Theoretical Background." PhD diss., University of London, 1960, p. 262, states that aside from this painting, he knows of no other instance where Cézanne's signature includes an acute accent over the first "e".
Jean Cassou. Les sources du XXe siècle: Les arts en Europe de 1884 à 1914. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne. 1960, p. 39, no. 84, dates it about 1895–97.
Paul Cézanne, 1839–1906. Exh. cat., Österreichische Galerie, Oberes Belvedere. Vienna, 1961, p. 28, no. 35, dates it about 1895.
Léo Marchutz. Letter to Mrs. Leonard Harris. July 15, 1962, states that the buildings known as the Domaine Saint-Joseph were owned by the Jesuit order until 1902; identifies the chapel, whose roof is depicted here, and the pigeon tower in front of the buildings as still extant, although the convent buildings have since been completely altered; suggests that the local people called the hill "La Colline des pauvres" because the Jesuit monks cared for the poor and suffering.
Nelson A. Rockefeller. "Back to the Sixty-ninth Regiment Armory." Art in America 51 (February 1963), p. 59, ill., dates it about 1877.
Milton W. Brown in1913 Armory Show: 50th Anniversary Exhibition, 1963. Exh. cat., Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica. New York, 1963, pp. 37, 185, no. 217, ill. p. 51, notes that among American buyers at the 1913 Armory show, the MMA paid the highest price for a single work when it purchased this painting.
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. 115–17, ill., tentatively date it about 1895, based on the "feathery" handling and areas of bare canvas; remark that since Cézanne signed this work, he considered it finished, thereby illustrating "his regard for the contrast he achieved by deliberately leaving these places unpainted"; note that the Jesuits owned the depicted buildings until 1901 [see Ref. Marchutz 1962].
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill.
Frank Elgar. Cézanne. New York, , p. 280, fig. 119, dates it 1888–94.
Sandra Orienti inL'opera completa di Cézanne. [French ed., 1975; English ed., 1985]. Milan, 1970, pp. 116–17, no. 676, ill., dates it 1888–94.
John Rewald. Letter to Everett Fahy. April 5, 1972, tentatively dates it about 1887, and certainly not later than 1890.
John Rewald. "Should Hoving Be De-accessioned?" Art in America 61 (January–February 1973), pp. 27, 29, notes that Cézanne's preliminary pencil lines are visible on this canvas; comments that a recent cleaning of this painting revealed a freshness of color that should lead to a revision of the date.
Russell Lynes. Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1973, p. 40.
Exposition Cézanne. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Occidental. 1974, unpaginated, no. 38, ill., dates it 1888–90.
Theodore Reff inCézanne: The Late Work. Ed. William Rubin. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1977, pp. 26–27, 51 n. 83, ill., dates it 1890–94; compares the transparent paint handling to that of a watercolor.
Hélène Seckel inParis–New York. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne. 1977, p. 277, ill., dates it about 1877.
Richard Shiff. Cézanne and the End of Impressionism. Chicago, 1984, pp. 121–22, 268 n. 44, fig. 29, dates it about 1888–98.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 10, 201, 254, ill. (color), dates it 1887, according to Cézanne's son [see Ref. Pach 1913].
John Rewald. Cézanne: A Biography. New York, 1986, p. 273, ill. p. 71.
Sjraar van Heutgen et al. inFranse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1987, p. 13, fig. 3, dates it about 1895.
John Rewald with the research assistance of Frances Weitzenhoffer. Cézanne and America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, 1891–1921. The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Princeton, 1989, pp. 192, 200, 203–7, 209 n. 46, pp. 325–26, 346, colorpl. IX, dates it 1888–90; discusses the MMA acquisition of this picture, in spite of the reluctance of several trustees; describes this view of the Domaine Saint-Joseph "as perceived from a spot near the terrace of Château Noir between Aix and the foot of Sainte-Victoire mountain"; notes that this was the only Cézanne sold from the Armory Show.
Christian Geelhaar in Mary Louise Krumrine. Paul Cézanne: The Bathers. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts. Basel, 1990, p. 277.
Denis Coutagne et al. Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne, 1990. Exh. cat., Musée Granet. Aix-en-Provence, 1990, pp. 314, 353, 356, no. 26, fig. 136 (color), dates it 1888 in the catalogue of works and 1888–95 in the chronology.
Charles de Lartigue. Les paysages de Paul Cézanne. Lyons, 1995, p. 30, ill. (color), calls it "La colline des pauvres" and dates it about 1888–94.
Maria Teresa Benedetti. Cézanne. [Italian ed., 1995]. Paris, 1995, p. 183, ill. (color), dates it 1888–90.
John Rewald, in collaboration with Walter Feilchenfeldt, and Jayne Warman. The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 337, 341, 405–6, 564, 568, 570–72, no. 612; vol. 2, ill. p. 205, calls it "La Colline des Pauvres près du Château Noir, avec vue sur Saint-Joseph" and dates it 1888–90.
Pavel Machotka. Cézanne: Landscape into Art. New Haven, 1996, pp. 22, 55–57, 79–83, ill. (color, overall and detail), dates it about 1892–94; notes its similarity to paintings executed in Chantilly in 1888, although its color is closer to those completed in the 1890s; publishes photographs of the site, indicating that in the painting Cézanne "pushed the hills apart".
Terence Maloon inClassic Cézanne. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales. Sydney, 1998, pp. 29, 48, 105, 108, no. 28, ill. (color).
Richard Shiff inCézanne: Finished, Unfinished. Exh. cat., Kunstforum Wien. 2000, p. 114, fig. 18, compares Cézanne's use of color in this work to Matisse, "View of the Sea, Collioure" (1906; Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn.).
Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Modern Art Comes to the Metropolitan: The 1921 Exhibition of 'Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings'." Apollo 152 (October 2000), pp. 4, 9 n 12.
Chiao-Mei Liu. Cézanne: La série de Château Noir. PhD diss., Université de Paris. Villeneuve d'Ascq, 2001, pp. 313, 315, no. 25, dates it about 1890–95.
Bennard B. Perlman. American Artists, Authors, and Collectors: The Walter Pach Letters, 1906–1958. Albany, 2002, pp. 120–21, ill., identifies it as the painting mentioned in Bryson Burroughs's March 24, 1913 letter to Pach, adding that it was acquired for the MMA through Pach.
Rebecca A. Rabinow and Jayne S. Warman inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 286.
Jayne S. Warman inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 341, no. 39, ill., dates it 1888–90.
Ann Dumas inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, fig. 27 (color).
Paul Smith in Philip Conisbee and Denis Coutagne. Cézanne in Provence. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2006, p. 69, fig. 12 (color), calls it "La Colline des Pauvres near the Château Noir, with a View over Saint-Joseph" and dates it 1888–90.
Gary Tinterow inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, p. 7.
Anabelle Kienle inCézanne and Beyond. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2009, p. 318.
Michael R. Taylor inCézanne and Beyond. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2009, p. 412, fig. 15.1 (color), notes that Arshile Gorky studied this painting in the MMA galleries, making his own version called "Landscape" (about 1927–28; private collection).
Adrianne O. Bratis inCézanne and Beyond. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2009, pp. 29, 33.
Gail Stavitsky in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, pp. 6, 32, 36–37, 58 n. 148, pp. 150, 340, no. 8, ill. (color, overall and detail), dates it 1888–90.
Jayne S. Warman in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, p. 86.
Laurette E. McCarthy in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, p. 263.
Emily Schuchardt Navratil in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, p. 355.
Joseph J. Rishel inInventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market. Ed. Sylvie Patry. Exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. London, 2015, pp. 199, 284 n. 10 [French ed., "Paul Durand-Ruel: le Pari de l'Impressionnisme," Paris, 2014, pp. 151, 226 n. 10].
Asher Ethan Miller inUnfinished: Thoughts Left Visible. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. New York, 2016, p. 139, fig. 8 (color detail).
Eva Reifert inUnfinished: Thoughts Left Visible. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. New York, 2016, p. 280, colorpl. 120, notes that its rare signature does not provide conclusive evidence that the artist considered it finished.
The group of buildings depicted in this painting, known as the Domaine Saint-Joseph, was originally owned by the Jesuit order. The roof of the chapel is visible among the trees.