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Still life of a bowl of fruit sits on a wooden table with three ceramic containers of various sizes.

A bowl of fruit rests in the center of a disheveled white cloth on top of a small wooden table. The round fruits, probably apples, are painted red and green in a large white shallow bowl. Three vessels sit behind the bowl on the left back corner of the table. The largest is dark green with tan interior and bottom half. To its right is a white/grey wide mouth round jar, the smallest pot sits in front of both, is white with painted leaves and covered top. The background is dark brown wood furniture and small section of wall.

Gallery Text

Many artists of the twentieth century credited Cézanne with revolutionizing painting through his unique style and complex manipulation of perspective, both of which are exemplified in this work. Executed in his hallmark short, small groups of brushstrokes, this scene features an interior in which three-dimensional consistency has been destroyed. This play of impossibility is epitomized in the tablecloth, of which the scholar Meyer Schapiro wrote, “It is like a mountain, a rocky creviced mass, or like some human figure, twisting and turning, with an inner balance of directions.”

Of the many still lifes Cézanne painted, he only repeated the same composition twice. This work is a cropped variation of a canvas now in Munich, showing less of the wallpaper on the left and the tablecloth on the right. Cézanne began both paintings by drawing the composition on the canvas, indicating that the arrangement of the scene was the result of careful and deliberate consideration.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Paul Cézanne, French (Aix-en-Provence 1839 - 1906 Aix-en-Provence)
Still Life with Commode
Work Type
c. 1887-1888
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1220, European Art, 19th–20th century, Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
63.8 x 79.9 cm (25 1/8 x 31 7/16 in.)
framed: 90.8 x 107 x 8.9 cm (35 3/4 x 42 1/8 x 3 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: verso, stretcher, white chalk: 1 [encircled]
  • inscription: verso, stretcher, blue ink: 11588 DL
  • label: verso, stretcher, brown square paper label printed with black ink stencil letters: 3758
  • label: verso, stretcher, round white paper label, handwritten in black ink: 3525 / Cezanne / M.LHH


Recorded Ownership History
[Ambrose Vollard, Paris]. [Moderne Gallery (Justin Thannhauser), Munich]. Samuel Fischer, Berlin, by descent; to Brigitte and Gottfried Bermann-Fischer, his daughter and son-in-law, Vienna, 1934, sold [through Paul Cassirer, Amsterdam] [1]; to [Paul Rosenberg, Paris, 1936], [2] sold; to Maurice Wertheim, New York, 1944, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1951


[1] The painting was put on consignment with Paul Cassier, Amsterdam in April 1933 by Samuel Fischer

[2] The painting was lent to two Cezanne exhibitions in 1939, organized by Paul Rosenberg, by R.P.A. It is unclear if this is Rosenberg or another owner. Rosenberg deposits what is probably this painting, for unknown reasons, for a brief time at the Fogg at the end of 1940. In the exhibition catalogue for Rosenberg’s 1942 Cezanne exhibition, the work is lent anonymously.

State, Edition, Standard Reference Number

Standard Reference Number
Venturi 497 FWN 808

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest from the Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • Ambroise Vollard, Paul Cézanne, Galerie A. Vollard (Paris, France, 1914), p. 146, pl. 48
  • Paul Cassirer Gallery, Cézanne Ausstellung, exh. cat., Paul Cassirer Gallery (Berlin, Germany, 1918), no. 32
  • Julius Meier-Graefe, Cézanne und sein Kreis (Munich, Germany, 1918), pl. 171
  • Julius Meier-Graefe, Cezanne und Sein Kreis, R. Piper & Co Verlag (Munich, 1920), p. 168
  • E. Bernard, Souvenirs sur Paul Cézanne (Paris, France, 1926), p. 149
  • De Delacroix à Cézanne et van Gogh, exh. cat., Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1933), no. 2
  • Lionello Venturi, Cézanne, son art, son oeuvre, P. Rosenberg (Paris, 1936), no. 497
  • Centenaire de Cézanne, exh. cat., Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York (Paris, France and London, England, 1939), no. 8
  • Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Cézanne, exh. cat., Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York (New York, NY, 1942), no. 10
  • Dorothy Adlow, "Nature Morte à la Commode; a Painting by Paul Cézanne", The Christian Science Monitor (July 16, 1946), p. 6
  • Alfred M. Frankfurter, "Today's Collectors: Modern Milestones", Art News (June 1946), vol. XLV, no. 4, pp. 28-31, 63-65; p. 64; repr. in b/w p. 29
  • French Painting since 1870, lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), p. 22, repr. p. 23
  • John Rewald, The History of Impressionism [1st ed.], The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY, 1946), p. 411
  • Wildenstein Galleries, A Loan Exhibition of Cézanne, exh. cat., Wildenstein Galleries (New York, NY, 1947), no. 25
  • Six Masters of Post-Impressionism, exh. cat., Wildenstein & Company (New York, NY, 1948), no. 5
  • La Peinture Française Depuis 1870: Collection Maurice Wertheim, exh. cat., Tom Taylor (Québec, Canada, 1949), no. 11, pp. 30-32
  • A Collector's Exhibition: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Collections of Members of the Advisory Committee of the Institute of Fine Arts., exh. cat., Knoedler & Co. Inc. (New York, NY, 1950), no. 10
  • John Coolidge, "The Wertheim Collection", Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, July 7, 1951), repr. p. 757
  • Marion Downer, Paul Cézanne, Lothrop, Lee and Shepard (New York, NY, 1951), ill.
  • Howard Devree, "By French Masters: The Metropolitan Shows Wertheim Collection", The New York Times (New York, NY, July 6 1952), p. 6, p. 6
  • Meyer Schapiro, Paul Cézanne, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1952), p. 60, ill. p. 61
  • Charles McMurdy, Pictorial Guide to Modern Art, Macmillan and Co. (New York, NY, 1956), repr.
  • John Canaday, Mainstreams of Modern Art, Henry Holt and Co. (New York, NY, 1959), repr. p. 352
  • The Maurice Wertheim Catalogue: Modern French Art-- Monet to Picasso, exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC, 1960), p. 6, repr. p. 7
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1962), p. 12, pl. 1
  • Sandra Orienti, L'Opera Completa di Cézanne (Milan, Italy, 1970), no. 471
  • Sezannu [Cézanne], Chūō Kōron Bijutsu Shuppan (Tokyo, Japan, 1972), repr. in color pl. 29; p. 117
  • The Great Masters of Modern Painting, exh. cat., Japan Art Center (Tokyo, Japan, 1972), pl. 29, p. 117
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, exh. cat., Maine State Museum (Augusta, ME, 1972), no. 2
  • [Unidentified article], Harvard Bulletin (Cambridge, MA, June 1973), repr. p. 68
  • Kubismus, exh. cat., Josef Haubrich Kunsthalle (Cologne, Germany, 1982), pp. 15-17, 23
  • G. Freisinger, "Second Impressions", Harvard Magazine (Cambridge, MA, May 1985 - June 1985), ill. p. 43
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 224, p. 196, repr. in color
  • John O'Brian, Degas to Matisse: the Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Fogg Art Museum (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1988), no. 17, p. 84, repr. in b/w p. 84; color p. 85; text p. 84 and 86
  • Michael Hoog, Cezanne: "Puissant et Solitaire", Decouvertes Gallimard/Reunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1989), repr. in color p. 74-75
  • 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), p. 88, color plate; p. 102, 252, repr. b/w cat. no. 373
  • 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. 30, p. 91
  • Lawrence S. Cunningham and John J. Reich, Culture and Values: A Survey of the Western Humanities, Harcourt Brace College Publishers (New York, NY, 1994), repr. in color fig. 16.19, p. 372
  • Françoise Cachin, Cézanne, exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, 1996), 387, note 4 as V. 497.
  • John Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cezanne: A Catalogue Raisonné, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1996), pp. 415-416 as no. 634, repr. in Vol II as no. 634 on p. 214
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Drawing and Painting Activities Using Masterworks as Inspiration, Crystal Productions (Glenview IL and Aspen CO, 2003), repr. in color, p. 20
  • Walter Feilchenfeldt, By Appointment Only: Cezanne, Van Gogh and Some Secrets of Art Dealing, Thames & Hudson (New York, 2006), pp. 152-3, 161, repr. p. 152
  • Lawrence S. Cunningham and John J. Reich, Culture & Values: A Survey of the Humanities, Thomson Wadsworth (Belmont, CA, 2006), pp. 497-498, repr. in color as fig. 18.19
  • Paul Smith, "Cézanne's 'Primitive' Perspective, or the 'View from Everywhere'", College Art Association of America (The Art Bulletin, March 2013), vol. XCV, No. 1 , pp. 102-119, p. 115, repr. as fig. 13
  • Elizabeth M. Rudy, "Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums", Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-6, p. 305

Exhibition History

  • Cezanne Ausstellung, Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, 11/01/1921 - 12/01/1921
  • Impressionisten Ausstellung, Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, 01/01/1925 - 12/13/1925
  • De Delacroix à Cézanne et van Gogh, Museum Boymans, Rotterdam, 12/01/1933 - 01/31/1934
  • Schilderijen van Delacroix tot Cezanne en Vincent Van Gogh, Museum Boymans, Rotterdam
  • Französische Meister des 19. Jahrhunderts und Van Gogh, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, 02/18/1934 - 04/02/1934
  • Centenaire de Cézanne, Paul Rosenberg Gallery, Paris, Paris, 02/01/1939 - 02/28/1939; Rosenberg and Helft Gallery, London, 03/01/1939 - 03/31/1939
  • Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Cézanne, Rosenberg Gallery, New York, 11/01/1942 - 12/31/1942
  • French Painting since 1870 lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1946 - 09/07/1946; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 07/01/1953 - 09/13/1953
  • A Loan Exhibition of Cézanne, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 03/27/1947 - 04/26/1947
  • Six Masters of Post-Impressionism, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 04/08/1948 - 05/08/1948
  • La Peinture Française depuis 1870, Musée de la Province de Quebec, 07/12/1949 - 08/07/1949
  • A Collector's Exhibition, M. Knoedler & Co., Newport, 02/06/1950 - 02/25/1950
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 07/01/1952 - 09/14/1952
  • French Paintings Since 1870 from the Maurice Wertheim Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1953 - 09/30/1953
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 06/15/1957 - 09/15/1957
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 06/10/1958 - 08/31/1958
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Modern French Art--Monet to Picasso, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 06/17/1960 - 09/04/1960
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 06/13/1962 - 09/02/1962
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 06/20/1963 - 09/01/1963
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 06/24/1965 - 09/07/1965
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 09/03/1968 - 09/22/1968
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, 06/01/1971 - 09/30/1971
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Maine State Museum, Augusta, 06/01/1972 - 09/01/1972
  • Manet to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York, 04/09/1985 - 05/25/1985
  • 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
  • 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
  • 32Q: 1220 Wertheim, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/06/2017 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

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Verification Level

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