Mature period, Provence, 1878â€“1890
Maison Maria with a View
of ChÃ¢teau Noir
In the early 1880s the Cezanne family stabilized their residence in Provence, where they remained, except for brief sojourns abroad, from then on. The move reflects a new independence from the Paris-centered impressionists and a marked preference for the south, Cezanne's native soil. Hortense's brother had a house within view of Montagne Sainte-Victoire at Estaque. A run of paintings of this mountain from 1880 to 1883 and others of Gardanne from 1885 to 1888, are sometimes known as "the Constructive Period".
The year 1886 was a turning point for the family. Cezanne married Hortense. In that year also, Cezanne's father died, leaving him the estate purchased in 1859; he was 47. By 1888 the family was in the former manor, Jas de Bouffan, a substantial house and grounds with outbuildings, which afforded a new-found comfort. This house, with much-reduced grounds, is now owned by the city and is open to the public on a restricted basis.
Also in that year Cezanne broke off his friendship with Emile Zola, after the latter used him, in large part, as the basis for the unsuccessful and ultimately tragic fictitious artist Claude Lantier, in the novel (L'o’uvre). Cezanne considered this a breach of decorum and a friendship begun in childhood was irreparably damaged.
Final period, Provence, 1890 - 1905
Still Life with Apples and Oranges, 1895â€“1900.
Cezanne's idyllic period at Jas de Bouffan was temporary. From 1890 until his death he was beset by troubling events and he withdrew further into his painting, spending long periods as a virtual recluse. His paintings became well-known and sought after and he was the object of respect from a new generation of painters.
The problems began with the onset of diabetes in 1890, destabilizing his personality to the point where relationships with others were again strained. He travelled in Switzerland, with Hortense and his son, perhaps hoping to restore their relationship. Cezanne, however, returned to Provence to live; Hortense and Paul junior, to Paris. Financial need prompted Hortense's return to Provence but in separate living quarters. Cezanne moved in with his mother and sister. In 1891 he turned to Catholicism.
Cezanne alternated between painting at Jas de Bouffan and in the Paris region, as before. In 1895 he made a germinal visit to BibÃ©mus Quarries and climbed Mt. Ste. Victoire. The labyrinthine landscape of the quarries must have struck a note, as he rented a cabin there in 1897 and painted extensively from it. The shapes are believed to have inspired the embryonic 'Cubist' style. Also in that year, his mother died, an upsetting event but one which made reconciliation with his wife possible. He sold the empty nest at Jas de Bouffan and rented a place on Rue Boulegon, where he built a studio.
The relationship, however, continued to be stormy. He needed a place to be by himself. In 1901 he bought some land along the Chemin des Lauves, an isolated road on some high ground at Aix, and commissioned a studio to be built there (now open to the public). He moved there in 1903. Meanwhile, in 1902, he had drafted a will excluding his wife from his estate and leaving everything to his son. The relationship was apparently off again; she is said to have burned the mementos of his mother.
From 1903 to the end of his life, he painted in his studio, working for a month in 1904 with Emile Bernard, who stayed as a house guest. After his death it became a monument, Atelier Paul Cezanne, or les Lauves.