Cézanne indeed considers that a landscape or a still life is a construction of geometric elements : sphere, cylinder, cone. Houses are cubes. Colors may be excessive if it helps to express a feeling. Modern art is in germ in this profession of faith of an artist often isolated by his difficult temper.
Cézanne was born in Provence, but it took to the quieting of his relationship with his family in 1878 for him to test his theories with the stunning scenery of his native province. The brain controls the hand and his decidedly non impressionistic brush strokes are now composing a dense pattern of slightly oblique lines.
From April 1879 to March 1880 Cézanne lives in Melun. Retrieving the softly waving hills and the villages of Ile de France, he goes forward with his new style.
On November 16 in New York, Christie's sells a landscape with a road and a bell tower painted by Cézanne, lot 23 B estimated $ 10M.
This oil on canvas 54 x 65 cm is neither dated nor localized but the style and theme converge onto the period of Melun. Despite the detailed view of the village the location has not been recognized with certainty. There is no doubt that the work was painted outdoor facing that scenery in a morning against the light.
In the enthusiasm of his pictorial revolution, Cézanne had possibly reinvented that landscape more than it was necessary. While respecting proportions and perspective as Monet was doing, the art of Cézanne leaves resolutely away from any photographic realism.