AUVERS
After the 1870 war Cézanne came back from Provence and joined Pissarro, whom he much admired, at Pontoise. Next, he settled down at Auvers. Pissarro's example, like Monet's, now encouraged him to enter into a communion with nature more intimate than that inspiring his romantic landscapes of round about 1860. He abandoned the passionate, not to say Baroque "vision" which had led to his Modern Olympia and Temptation of Saint Anthony. Under Manet's influence he had tried to curb his natural turbulence, and now, under the influence of impressionist theory, he imposed a new discipline on himself, while his art found a new objective, one which had never yet occurred to him--the quest of luminous atmosphere. During this phase he gave up the rather slapdash technique of palette-knife painting, saw the advantages of associating light hues, and tentatively employed juxtaposed "touches." Later on he was to discard the new aesthetic theories; meanwhile, however, he spoke with modest satisfaction of his "small impressionist personality," and lets himself be carried away by the impetuous enthusiasms of his friends and the brief glamour of the "fleeting." But soon he was to retrieve his bearings--when his native prudence urged him back to that solid framework of which his self-confessed "weakness" stood in need.
At Auvers Vincent Van Gogh painted his Mairie du 14 Juillet, in which, though the subject is the gay fourteenth-of-July festivities, he treats it in cold tones. He paints a few more dazzling wheatfields, but though his last canvas coruscates with flamming yellows, hovering above its rippling gold are some ominous patches, the black forms of crows. A few days later he shot himself with a revolver -- whose origin has never been traced.
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