Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. His unique method of building form with color and his analytical approach to nature influenced the art of Cubists, Fauves, and successive generations of avant-garde artists. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all".

The composition of this Montagne Sainte-Victoire, in short, orderly brushstrokes, creates an impression of evanescence. While the rhythms were more pronounced and the colors more intense when Cézanne returned to this motif at the end of his life, this version, dating from around 1890, already tends toward geometrical schematization and a simplification of perspective. This gradual abandonment of depth is also manifest in the stylization of the trees, rendered in the fine, oblique lines Cezanne began using ten years earlier. The object of the representation gradually but serenely disappears into a fusion of technique and pictorial elements, leading to an autonomy of the painting while endowing this grandiose landscape with real sublimity.