Our trip to Cézanne’s studio in Aix-enProvence was short and sweet. The painters started their journey up the mountain walking the much-celebrated footpath Paul Cézanne used to hike up to paint Mt. Ste. Victoire en plein air. Student Kate Marie Phillips said she “really enjoyed walking up there as a group of student artists. It was really exciting to look through another Artists eyes with a group of people all interested in getting more in touch with Cézanne’s inspiration and seeing it first hand rather than through his paintings.” Cézanne produced 44 oil paintings and about 43 watercolors of Mt. Ste. Victoire.
As soon as we reached the top, the students had to quickly run back down to make in time to tour the studio. We hustled down in the rain and Professor Reed encouraged us with a little prize for whoever got down first… which I believe went to Aaron Edwards.
As we walked into his studio, I think one thing we all noticed was the settling color of the studio walls. The delicate, light bluish-grey color was sophisticated and the high ceilings really gave room for your mind to breathe.
The items that were posed for his famous still lifes were set through out the room. A long shelf was situated on the western wall and the light that illuminated the room from the two adjoining walls’ windows gave beautiful air to the environment. The intensity of Cézanne’s presence through the objects in his room really revealed his grace and attentiveness for choice in subject matter.
Apart from his landscapes. Cézanne painted many other pieces in this studio, you can see his huge easel for the heroic Les Grand Baigneuses painted in 1905.
All in all, the trip to Aix-en-Provence was lovely. Cézanne would frequent this town so he could work in relative isolation. Of course, today Aix-en-Provence is a lot different and continuing to grow but during his time it was the perfect place of retreat from other cities like Paris that an artist like Cézanne couldn’t cope with on an everyday basis. Cézanne’s love for the southern French town is apparent in his paintings.