Trees and Cistern in the Park of Château Noir (Arbre Tordu et Citerne dans le Parc du Château Noir)
[Ambroise Vollard (1867–1939), Paris]. Mme de la Chapelle, Paris. [Knoedler Galleries, Paris and New York, by Sept. 1937]; [Sam Salz, New York (1894–1981), by 24 Aug. 1940]; sold to Erich Maria Remarque (1898–1970), Porto Ronco, 27 Aug. 1940; [Walter Feilchenfeldt (b. 1939), Zurich, 1968]; [sold to Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, 4 Jan. 1968]; sold to Norton Simon (1907–1993), Los Angeles, 29 Feb. 1968 and sold at auction, Parke-Bernet, New York, 5 May 1971, lot 28; purchased at auction by Henry Pearlman; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, after 1974.
High magnification reveals pencil marks that cross over watercolor strokes, evident particularly in the vertical stroke along the gnarled tree at the center, implying that Cézanne reinforced some areas with graphite after he applied color washes.
Cézanne frequently used both sides of the same sheet of paper. On the front of this example: a view of one of his favorite sites—the stone cistern on the grounds of the Château Noir.
On the reverse: one of only a small number of watercolor images of a single, female nude. Cézanne is known to have been reluctant to work from live female models and only this example suggests a bather in an outdoor setting. A similarly posed figure shown from the back appears in several late paintings, including The Large Bathers in the collection of the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia.