Jas de Bouffan Paul Cezanne Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This painting from 1887 is also sometimes known as House and Farm at Jas de Bouffan. The view is of a mansion owned by Paul Cezanne's father. The property, which included considerable gardens and a farm, would remain in the family for around forty years.

Whilst Cezanne would normally paint smaller outbuildings that lied around the gardens, in this case he chose to capture the main house itself. He actually worked from within the building at some points, as well as outside and in other buildings from time to time. He became highly acquainted with this location and it would inspire a large body of work which included both oil and watercolour paintings. The stunning main house sits to the left hand side of this work, with beautiful blue shutters that are typical of French design, as well as a bright orange tiled roof. All of the angles of this house are tweaked from reality into Cezanne's own method, which was one of the signature elements of his artistic style. This was a desire to create one's own reality, and play with what was in front of him on the day. These innovative ideas would contribute to the Cubist approach which followed on soon after Cezanne's career.

A number of other buildings are featured to the right hand side, but not given the same prominence within this composition. A low wall sweeps in from the right hand side, with a healthy lawn in the nearest foreground. The sky behind is a clear blue that greeted Cezanne in this location almost all year round. He created so many scenes around the gardens of this property that we can actually piece them toegther and create a visual record of the area. He regularly concentrated on the L'Allée au Jas de Bouffan but would handle them from different angles, with each variation then revealing elements in the background. This painting is sized at 60cm by 70cm and can now be found in the National Gallery in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

The overall series of Jas de Bouffan would take in elements such as the house itself, the farm, a pond, several sculptures found around the gardens, plus also the rows of chestnut trees which he adored so much. No artist would devote so much attention to a location without having a passionate love for it, and clearly Cezanne felt very much at home whilst working here. He could learn about subtle changes over time and season whilst studying here, thanks to the accessible nature of this location. It would bring about one of the most important sections of his career and helped him to develop several signature aspects to his style and oeuvre which remain much discussed even today. Many of the series are now in the US, with this a rare addition of Cezanne's work to the Czech art scene.

Jas de Bouffan in Detail Paul Cezanne