Paul Cezanne’s fascination with Chateau Noir, a neo-Gothic castle located near Aix-en-Provence, France, resulted in an impressive series of paintings. The structure, with its decrepit and isolated appearance, served as a perfect subject for some of Cezanne’s darkest and most foreboding images. The artist was attracted to the fundamental order and chaos of nature – evident in his work’s brooding atmosphere of dark greens and blues – that matched the moody loneliness conveyed by Chateau Noir.
Cezanne’s paintings of Chateau Noir showcase an epic largeness that captures the structure’s essence through powerful brush strokes. The artist applied paint in thick, broad strokes often taking geometrical forms. Cezanne liked to blur boundaries between objects too; where shape is mutable instead of fixed as one might expect from painting traditionally done from real-life view.
Chateau Noir inspired later artists such as Braque and Picasso and influenced Cubism by extension. One example is Cezanne’s 1904 oil canvas work which showcases the estate painted in bold colors with clear objects that are alive and throbbing with energy.