Fountain, Place De La Mairie in Aix-En-Provence (La Fontaine de la Place de la Mairie à Aix-en-Provence)
Artist’s son, Paul Cézanne (1872–1947), Paris. [Marie Harriman Gallery, New York, by 1937]. [Justin K. Thannhauser, New York]. Arthur Bradley Campbell (1887–1954), Palm Beach, Fla.; by descent to Campbell’s estate, sold at auction, Arthur Bradley Campbell Estate, Parke-Bernet, New York, 27 Oct. 1954, lot 13; purchased at auction by Henry Pearlman; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, 1979.
The watercolor was executed on a sketchbook page that has been torn from the binding along its bottom edge. It is thought that Cézanne used his sketchbooks interchangeably over long periods of time, picking them up at random and adding his impressions of the moment. The portability of the pocket-size journals allowed him to carry them around the Louvre or back and forth between Paris and Provence.
Cézanne spent much of his career working in and around his native Aix-en-Provence, but this watercolor of the fountain in the Place de la Mairie (City Hall Plaza), located near his apartment, is his only known depiction of the city proper. Although the square itself is rather large, on this small sketchbook page Cézanne compressed and flattened the space and let the surrounding trees dissolve into layers of semitransparent washes.