A mature work by Cézanne, created late in his career, and one of the few of which he was proud enough to sign. Though there are many areas of canvas left bare, Cézanne regarded it as "finished," a status he rarely assigned to his art. The view is of an area that Cezanne love in his youth, it shows the Jesuit estate of Saint-Joseph, situated on a hill, the Colline des Pauvres, on the road between Aix and the village of Le Tholone. This picture was the first by Cézanne to enter an American museum: the Metropolitan acquired it from the historic Armory Show in 1913, for the highest price of any work in the exhibition.
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 light of Impressionism resonates in this work, but signs of a revised palette are especially apparent in his muted tones. After rejecting the intense contrasts of light and shadow of his earlier years, he developed his refined system of color scales placed next to one another. His often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields with distorted perspectival space. The subject of his painting are rendered without use of light or shadow, but through extremely subtle gradations of color. Cézanne ignores the laws of classical perspective, allowing each object to be independent within the space of a picture while the relationship of one object to another takes precedence over traditional single-point perspective.