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Chestnut Trees and Farm at Jas de Bouffan is a painting from 1885–1887 which now resides within a private collection. Cezanne produced many depictions of this location during this decade and felt entirely comfortable working away in his father's home.
The property was acquired in 1859 and remained within the family's ownership until 1899, some forty years later. It would provide plenty of inspiration to the artist who himself would work from within the main mansion, some outbuildings and also outdoors in the garden. Cezanne tackled elements from different angles, keen to observe subtle differences that could only be seen by spending time within familiar surroundings. He would capture the gardens within both summer and winter, and gain equal pleasure from both. The composition found in front of us here is slightly more traditional than some of his others, with a building sitting centrally, and tall trees either side. The area nearest us is strongly shaded, with bright light then appearing in the space which leads up to the house at the back. A low wall runs down the right hand side and you will be able to spot this in many of his paintings here.
Whilst this piece may not be as famous as the likes of The Footpath at the Jas de Bouffan, it still offers an interesting addition to the series and continues to address this environment from yet another different angle. The painting resides in a private collection which perhaps explains why relatively little is known about it, where as by comparison those in major public galleries have been researched in far greater detail. In truth, many of the findings from those can then be carried across to this piece, such as how the artist worked here as well as the innovations that he made whilst studying the various elements across the garden, pond and farm in this property. Cezanne was passionate about the French countryside and managed to find a good display of its qualities within the accessible environment of his family home.
Paul Cezanne produced a huge number of artworks across his career which allows a good number to be dispersed right across the world, and into both public and private collections. This means it is possible for most western art fans to be able to see some of his original work in their local area. Many from this series have made their way over to the US, whilst others can be found in the Czech Republic, UK and, of course, his native France. Cezanne's impact was considerable and historians continue to discuss and educate us about the importance of his innovations on the developments across the 20th century, such as with the likes of the Cubist movement.