Houses on a Hill

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Paul Cézanne

Houses on the Hill, 1900-1906.

Oil on canvas. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, bequest of Marion Koogler McNay.


Houses on the Hill exhibits Cezanne's confidence in using color during the last years of this life. With a fully loaded brush, he painted overlapping vertical blocks of various greens to describe foliage on the hillside. Using dark blue, he delineated the houses, bushes in the foreground, and a hint of a boat at the right. Horizontal strokes of green, blue, and orange suggest a river bank. Subtle violets fill in the planes of the houses, and a jumble of light blue floods the sky above the hill. Though considered an Impressionist painter in the 1870s, Cezanne ultimately achieved a strength and solidity of form not present in most Impressionist works. His influence on Matisse and Picasso changed the course of 20th century art.