Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine and Mont Sainte-Victoire from Les Lauves, are both interesting pieces of art with their own unique style and technique. Plate 1.3.20 was painted 17 year earlier than Plate 1.3.22. Both paintings are similar in size and the artist used oil paint and canvas in both of these works. Another similarity is that both of the paintings depict the same landscape around the artist’s homeland.

The two most apparent differences between the paintings are in the use of colour and the technique. In Plate 1.3.20 Cézanne used a limited palette of green to yellows with a hint of orange and blue which suggest a warm climate with a sense of calm. The warmest colour is on the side of the mountain which is painted with a mix of different hues, assembled into a recognisable object. In Plate 1.3.20 Cézanne used strokes of dark colours mainly to outline forms like the tree trunk in black and the fields in dark blue.

In Plate 1.3.22 Cézanne seemed to play with the colours more. He used more vivid colours with a greater contrast between the light and the dark hues. Different colours of green created a sense of depth which increases the painting’s three-dimensional effect. By using a lighter pallet Cézanne elevated the mountain which became the lightest area of the painting. By eliminating its details, he gave it intensity almost equal to the foreground and emphasized its height. From a distance the background throws light into the grimmer foreground where the spectator almost feels the need to peek through the dark foreground into the field and up the mountain where in Plate 1.3.20 the outlines of fields, roads and buildings lead the eye to the mountain and the overhanging branches of the tree is framing it all together.

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Another noticeable difference is in the brushwork technique. The structure of parallel brushstrokes in Plate 1.3.20 fragments the surface of the composition and a use of bold colours gives it a sense of abstraction. The fields in the foreground are roughly painted, the side of the mountain shows sharp edges and the outline of the buildings with vertical and horizontal lines defines the shape of natural and manmade form in the landscape. The shape of the branches and the way in which they beautifully outline the mountain behind brings a great emphasis on the form and line of the painting. The use of horizontal lines creates a flatter more methodical approach than in Plate 1.3.22.

In Plate 1.3.22 the ragged and short downwards brush marks and the all over patchwork of colour planes are particularly noticeable and there is less distinction between the foreground and the background of the painting where in Plate 1.3.20, the tree in the foreground of the painting is more realistically portrayed and gives us a clear distinction between the foreground and the background. The linear lines are more vertical and softer than in Plate 1.3.20, even though the mountain and landscape are painted in a parametrical blocks and shapes.


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