Chateau du Medan (1880)
painting 33 of 352 by Paul Cézanne
Information about painting
The Château de Médan (hereafter, 'Château') is one of the most important landscapes painted during Cézanne's career, boldly marking the transition from his earlier "immersion in th e charm and vivacity of nature...to a celebration of its strength and austerity." In his final years, Cézanne would develop his assimilation of Impressionist methodology with a counter-emphasis on Classical monumentality in landscapes that would shine a beacon light for abstract artists of the 20th century. Château is the summation of a complex, highly colouristic philosophy that challenges both the Barbizon school realism of Millet as well as Impressionist contemporaries, including Monet, Pissarro and Sisley.
The composition is of the Seine riverbank, along which stands the 9th century château and the house of Cezanne's childhood friend, Emile Zola. The viewpoint suggests the painter was working from an island in the river, l' île du Platais, and looking straight on, lending the landscape a confrontational quality.