On the occasion of the exhibition Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings (on view June 5–September 3, 2012), the artist recorded his thoughts about various works of art in the Met's collection.
Ellsworth Kelly: This is a beautiful Cézanne that I saw when I was a young child. I believe this is the painting that I got hooked on because of the large blue shape. That blue shape fascinated me. And I always came back and had to touch base with this painting, because that blue shape somehow or other . . . it takes a good third of the painting, this blue shape that goes from one side to the other. And my later paintings—I've done a lot of paintings like this one at the Met downstairs—is a blue shape. And I've done a lot of blue-shaped paintings. That's why this painting is so special to me.
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906). The Gulf of Marseilles Seen from L'Estaque, ca. 1885. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.67)