Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley

Artist: Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence)

Date: 1882–85

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 25 3/4 x 32 1/8 in. (65.4 x 81.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.100.64


The distinctive silhouette of Mont Saint-Victoire rises above the Arc River valley near the town of Aix. To paint this scene, Cézanne stood close to Montbriand, his sister’s property, at the top of the hill just behind her house; the wall of the neighboring farmhouse is barely visible. Cézanne sought to reveal the inner geometry of nature, "to make of Impressionism something solid and durable, like the art of museums." Indeed the railroad viaduct that cuts throught this pastoral scene is evocative of a Roman aqueduct, recalling paintings by Nicolas Poussin.