A Copse, Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) A Copse, c. 1890 Oil on canvas Purchase, Robert Allerton Fund and donations from Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Clark, Jr. and Academy friends, 1980 (4845.1) Paul Cézanne sought to delve beneath external appearances to express the essential order and stability of nature. In this painting of a thicket, he has carefully ordered his forms, building them into a structural whole by interweaving a limited palette–green, blue, violet, ochre, and tan–into a shimmering arrangement of parallel brushstrokes. Cézanne drew with color, creating movement and depth as tones advance and recede. Patches of sky are visible through the foliage, itself a magnificent tangle of opposing triangles that exemplifies the dynamics of Cézanne's compositions.