About this artwork

A late work by Cézanne, this composition presents a close-up of trees, rich in colour and almost geometrical in structure. The centrally positioned slender tree draws the eye into the painting between the darker trunks and interlocking overhead branches. Cézanne established the spatial intervals between the trees, while integrating them into a colourful network of brushstrokes, which emphasises the painting's flat surface. Areas of white canvas may have been left deliberately unpainted to contribute to the picture's light-filled, lyrical character.

  • title: The Big Trees
  • accession number: NG 2206
  • artist: Paul CezanneFrench (1839 - 1906)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Post Impressionism
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: About 1902 - 1904
  • measurements: 81.00 x 65.00 cm (framed: 112.10 x 95.50 x 11.20 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by Mrs Anne F Kessler 1958; received after her death 1983
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne

Cézanne's revolutionary achievements in painting were only recognised publicly towards the end of his life. They were later acknowledged for their profound influence on modern artists of the twentieth century. Cézanne abandoned his law studies to devote himself to painting. He arrived in Paris in 1861 from Aix-en-Provence. He met Pissarro, who encouraged his talent, and persuaded him to turn from dark, dramatic themes to a more direct response to nature. Cézanne exhibited first, alongside the Impressionists, while seeking a greater sense of permanence and structure in his own work. His perseverance and dedication contributed to his eventual success.