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Gallery Text

Cézanne painted this landscape when he was working alongside Camille Pissarro in the Oise valley, north of Paris. Their work from this period shares many of the same features; the houses at the center of this composition also appear in one of Pissarro’s paintings. As the latter wrote years afterward: “He became influenced by me at Pontoise and I by him. . . . [W]e were always together, but each of us unquestionably retained the only thing that counts, our own ‘sensation.’” In a manner wholly distinct from Pissarro’s, Cézanne explored pictorial strategies in his landscapes. His abbreviated marks created vibrating patchworks of color, anticipating the faceted planes of cubism. The row of thick beige strips in the right middle ground, ostensibly depicting planting rows, are also obviously brushstrokes; rather than being embedded illusionistically into the field, they appear to hover abstractly over it, making evident the materiality of painting.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Paul Cézanne, French (Aix-en-Provence 1839 - 1906 Aix-en-Provence)
Small Houses in Pontoise
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Auvers, Small Houses / Auvers, 1881
Work Type
c. 1873-c. 1874
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2100, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Centuries of Tradition, Changing Times: Art for an Uncertain Age
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
40.7 x 50.9 cm (16 x 20 1/16 in.)
framed: 57.3 x 72 x 5.1 cm (22 9/16 x 28 3/8 x 2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l.: P. Cezanne
  • exhibition label: back of frame, printed: Color in Art / Cat. no. 35
  • label: back of frame, handwritten: University of Chicago Smart Gallery TL54/35
  • exhibition label: back of frame, printed: No. 12
Possibly [Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York], sold; to Victor Choquet, 1874 sold; [through Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1926, no. 15] to [Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 5341) and New York (stock no. 4954)], sold; to Annie Swan Coburn, 1926, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1934.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Annie Swan Coburn
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Exhibition of The Mrs. L. L. Coburn Collection Modern Paintings and Watercolors, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL, 1932), no. 2

Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, son art, son oeuvre, P. Rosenberg (Paris, 1936), no. 156

Style and Technique: Their Interrelation in Western European Painting, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1936), no. 30, p. 37, pl. XIII

Van Gogh et les Peintres d'Auvers-sur-Oise, exh. cat., Editions des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1954), no. 15

Anne V. Dort, "French Art of the 19th Century", Boston Symphony Orchestra Concert Bulletin (Boston, MA, 1958 -1959), no. 21, p. 1316-1317

William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture from American College and University Collections: Inaugural Exhibition, exh. cat. (Chapel Hill, NC, 1958), no. 48

Loan Exhibition Cézanne, exh. cat., Wildenstein & Company (New York, NY, 1959), no. 9, repr.

Theodore Reff, "Cezanne's Constructive Stroke", The Art Quarterly (1961-1962), vol. XXIV, no. 5, p. 221

Highlights from the Collections of the Fogg Museum and Harvard Alumni of St. Louis, exh. cat., City Art Museum of St. Louis (St. Louis, 1964), cat. 24

Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, 1967)

Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1967), cat.. 27

Steven Z. Levine, "Notes on a Painting by Cezanne in the Fogg Art Museum" (Qualifying paper, Fine Arts Dept., Harvard University, 1970), Unpublished

Wildenstein & Company, One Hundred Years of Impressionism: A Tribute to Durand-Ruel, exh. cat. (New York, NY, 1970)

James N. Carpenter, Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1974), pp. 74-75, cat. 35, ill.

Caroline A. Jones, Modern Art at Harvard: The Formation of the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press, 1985). With an essay by John Coolidge and a preface by John M. Rosenfield. To accompany the inaugural exhibition at the Sackler Museum, Oct 21 1985 - Jan 5 1986, repr., color, fig. 39, p. 50

Sidney Geist, Interpreting Cezanne, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1988), repr. in b/w no. 102, p. 120; text pp. 120-121

Michael Hoog, Cezanne: "Puissant et Solitaire", Decouvertes Gallimard/Reunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1989), repr. in color p. 43 and detail, p. 42

Richard Verdi, Cezanne and Poussin: the Classical Vision of Landscape, National Galleries of Scotland / Lund Humphries Publishers (Edinburgh, Scotland / London, England, 1990), no. 12, p. 87, repr. in color p. 86

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), pp. 102, 252, repr. b/w cat. no. 374

Richard R. Brettell, Pissarro and Pontoise: The Painter in a Landscape, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1990), repr. b/w fig. 145, p. 166

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), repr. in color no. 29, p. 88

Anne Thorold, "Learning from Pissarro: The Artist as Teacher", Apollo (November 1992), vol. CXXXVI, no. 369, pp. 330-333, repr. fig. 3

Barbara Ehrlich White, Impressionists Side By Side: Their Friendships, Rivalries, and Artistic Exchange, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (New York, NY, 1996), p. 124

John Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cezanne: A Catalogue Raisonné, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1996), pp. 160-161 as no. 220, repr. in Vol II as no. 220 on p. 73.

Mary Tompkins Lewis, Cezanne, Phaidon (London, England, 2000), p. 108, repr. as fig. 64

Belinda Thomson, Impressionism: Origins, Practice, Reception, Thames and Hudson, Ltd. (London, 2000), pp. 201-202, repr. in color

Marco Goldin, ed., La Nascita Dell'Impressionismo, exh. cat., Linea d'Ombra (Conegliano, 2000), p. 87, repr. in b/w

Richard Shiff, "Paul Cezanne: Still Life, Flask, Glass, and Jug", ed. Matthew Drutt, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY, 2001), pp. 88-89, repr. in color

Joachim Pissarro, Cezanne & Pissarro: Pioneering Modern Painting 1865-1885, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, NY, 2005), no. 44, repr. in color p. 135; detail repr. p. 125; text, p. 123

Walter Feilchenfeldt, By Appointment Only: Cezanne, Van Gogh and Some Secrets of Art Dealing, Thames & Hudson (New York, 2006), pp. 129-36, repr. p. 133

Exhibition History

III. Jahrgang der Kunst-Ausstellungen. Paul Cézanne, Louis Corinth, Walter Leistikow, Fritz Klimsch, D.Y. Cameron, Bruno and Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, 11/01/1900 - 12/01/1900

Works by French Impressionists, Grafton Galleries, London, 01/01/1905 - 12/31/1905

Exhibition of the Mrs. L.L. Coburn Collection, Modern Paintings and Watercolors, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 04/06/1932 - 10/09/1932

100 Years of French Painting, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art (now Nelson-Atkins), Kansas City, 04/19/1935 - 12/31/1935

Style and Technique: Their Interrelation in Western European Painting, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1936 - 12/31/1936

Unidentified Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1937, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 01/01/1937 - 12/31/1937

Unidentified Exhibition, Allen Memorial Art Museum, 1938, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, 04/01/1938 - 05/31/1938

Unidentified Exhibition, Allen Art Museum, 1942, Allen Art Museum, 01/01/1942 - 12/31/1942

Fifty Year Retrospective, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, 01/03/1945 - 02/16/1945

Unidentified Exhibition, Berkshire Museum, 1946, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, 01/01/1946 - 12/31/1946

A Loan Exhibition of Cézanne, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 03/27/1947 - 04/26/1947

Unidentified Exhibition, Currier Gallery, 1949, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 01/01/1949 - 12/31/1949

Two Sides of the Medal, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 09/28/1954 - 10/31/1954

Van Gogh et les Peintres d'Auvers-sur-Oise, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, 11/26/1954 - 02/28/1955

French and American Impressionism, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, 10/05/1956 - 11/04/1956

Inaugural Exhibition, William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Chapel Hill, 09/20/1958 - 10/20/1958

French Art of the 19th Century, Symphony Hall, Boston, 03/24/1959 - 04/24/1959

Cézanne, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 11/05/1959 - 12/05/1959

Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 05/08/1967 - 06/11/1967

Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967

100 Years of Impressionism: A Tribute to Durand-Ruel, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 04/02/1970 - 05/09/1970

Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/25/1974 - 06/16/1974

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Masterpieces of European Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/22/1985 - 09/15/1985

Modern Art at Harvard, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/21/1985 - 01/05/1986

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990

Cezanne and Poussin: The Classical Vision of Landscape, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 08/09/1990 - 10/21/1990

Birth of Impressionism, Tobu Museum of Art (Tobu Bijutsukan), Tokyo, 04/25/1996 - 06/30/1996

Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000

Cezanne & Pissarro: Pioneering Modern Painting 1865-1885, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 06/30/2005 - 09/12/2005

32Q: 2100 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

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Collection Highlights

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at