L'Allée au Jas de Bouffan (The Driveway at the 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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Paul Cezanne would produce a large body of work based in and around his father's mansion in The Jas de Bouffan which was an estate lying on the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence. One of his favourite spots to work from was this driveway which was lined by two rows of chestnut trees.

The property would remain within the family for 40 years and allowed Paul to develop several key themes within his overall career. He would also set up to work both within the mansion itself on the ground floor, as well as outdoors within some of these charming settings. In total, he would construct 36 oils and 17 watercolors from various locations around the premises which also included gardens and a park. Besides the rows of chestnut trees, he would also develop a particular fondness for the pond and plus several statues which were dotted about around the mansion grounds. Paul Cezanne would have been around 20 years of age at the time that his father purchased this property, making it an inevitably significant influence on his work as he became encouraged to focus on certain aspects around the mansion which were both highly inspiring but also now easily accessible.

This simple composition offers a clear comparison in light, with the foreground drenched in brightness, and then shadows appearing around the bottom of the trees behind. Cezanne would not add much precision to detail here, using thick strokes of paint that were not blended together. One can see and understand everything within this scene without the need for such realistic detail, and it may have been that the artist worked outdoors for this piece and so did not wish to over elaborate on its contents. The artwork is dated at c 1874–5, meaning that Paul Cezanne would have been entirely comfortable within the mansion grounds by this time. He knew his favourite places already from which to work and was starting to settle down to a preferred manner from which he would continue for years to come. The Jas de Bouffan mansion was purchased by his father in 1859 and then sold on later in 1899.

L'Allee au Jas de Bouffan (The Alleyway at the Jas de Bouffan) is now owned by the Tate in the UK, having been generously donated to the institution back in 1968 by Hon. Mrs A.E. Pleydell-Bouverie. The institution itself hosts several different galleries which are focused on different artistic periods and the work of Cezanne can be said to fall between modern and more traditional art. He could quite reasonably be displayed at either the Tate Modern or Tate Britain, for example. They also own another Cezanne painting, The Gardener Vallier for 1906 plus a small number of sketches, though their coverage of other major 20th century artists would more complete by comparison. L'Allee au Jas de Bouffan (The Driveway at the Jas de Bouffan) is listed by the Tate as being 46cm in width by 38cm in height, without including the dimensions of the frame around it. The item has recently been loaned by the Tate to the National Gallery, also in London.

L'Allée au Jas de Bouffan (The Driveway at the Jas de Bouffan) in Detail Paul Cezanne