Cézanne's Studio at Les Lauves

After 1878, he spent much of the rest of his life painting in Provence. Relatively isolated from the Paris art scene, Cézanne pursued his own artistic path. While the Impressionists depicted changing light and atmospheric effects, he was more interested in studying the underlying structure of the landscapes he painted. He said, “I wanted to make of Impressionism something solid and enduring like the art in museums.” Few of his works sold and he did not show his art publicly for almost twenty years.

In November 1901 the artist, then 61, bought a plot of land at Les Lauves, an area of open countryside in the hills north of Aix. A simple two-storey house was built, and on 1 September 1902 Cézanne started working there.

Each morning he would rise very early and walk the 1.2km / 0.7 miles up the hill to the studio. He'd work there from about 6am to 10.30am, return to Aix for lunch, then go back to paint until 5.30pm, either in the studio or further up the hill at a vantage point offering superlative views of the Mont Sainte Victoire.

Interior of Cezanne's Studio
The Back Wall of Cezanne's Studo

Cezanne's Paint Box

Cezanne's studio at Les Lauves: facade and terraceIt was up here, in autumn 1906, that Cézanne got caught in a rainstorm and was taken home unconscious in a laundry cart. He rose again early the following day to work on a portrait of Vallier, his gardener.

Paul Cézanne, Exiting his Studio 1906 - by Gertrude Osthaus

But his condition worsened and he died of pleurisy six days later during the night of 22-23 October. "I have sworn to die painting," Cézanne had written only a few days earlier. And he did.

The studio remained empty for 15 years. It was bought in 1921 by one Marcel Provence, who lived there until his own death in 1951.

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